If you are resident of India, the report by a Global cybersecurity firm Norton by Symantec would be shocking for you. India has the highest ranks of online harassment and cyberstalking in the Asia Pacific Region and the level of harassment here is even higher than that in Australia or Japan. The report surveyed 1035 adults in India and 8 among the 10 surveyed said they had encountered some form of online harassment. The most common forms of online harassments were abuse, malicious gossips, and rumors. No matter how major or minor the cyber abuse is, it triggers an emotional reaction. 45% people said online harassment made them feel angry, 41 percent felt irritated and 36 percent were frustrated.
It is pretty common for anyone to steal your photos and create a fake profile with your name on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms and send derogatory messages to common friends. Young girls and boys fell prey to such online abuses all the time.
Microsoft conducted a Global Youth Online Behavior Survey on 25 countries and India was ranked as the third most harassed country. 53 percent of the respondents said they have been bullied online. These respondents were children aged between 8 and 7. The survey also highlighted that children wish they could talk to their parents about this issue but only 29 percent said they got the courage to their parents about online protection.
The victim of cyberbullying and stalking are people who are new on the web and inexperienced to the internet safety. Mostly the targets are females, children, and people who are emotionally unstable. It is pretty clear that people need to take necessary precautions for their online protection. These statistics are alarming especially for parents who want to do everything in their power to protect your kids from bullies.
How to combat cyberbullying and harassment?
If you or your kid encounters cyberbullying, stalking or harassment, here is a course of action that you can adopt:
Sometimes, all a bully is looking for is an aggressive response which gives them power over you. By withholding your response, you are refusing to let the bully control you. Your response can also start a mean chain reaction. But that does not mean you should let the person bully you.
Save the evidence
Thanks to technology, it is easy to capture and save the bullying evidence. If you have messages, posts, or comments, save them.
You must then contact the service provider through which bullying occurred. For instance, if you were bullied via Facebook, contact the Facebook authorities. Make yourself familiar with the terms and conditions of the social networking sites you use frequently. There are many websites that prohibit harassment and reporting a bully can help you get rid of them completely.
Tell the person to stop
This may not be on the list of all of us but sometimes a shut up call actually works. Let’s say your kid is being bullied by one of his friends. As soon as you find out, you can talk to their parents and end this fight and make the bully apologize.
Reach out for help
Sometimes, a backup is necessary. Find someone who can listen to you and help you put this harassment to an end.
The only problem is not everyone is comfortable with sharing the news that they are being bullied, harassed or stalked, particularly kids because they don’t know what to do in the situation. This problem can be solved by the use of Xnspy. By reading their text messages and chats on popular IMs like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, parents can find out if their kids are a victim of cyberbullying and then take a necessary action.
Use social media carefully
- You need to be mindful of what you post on social media.
- Don’t share anything that can hurt or embarrass anyone else. Sometimes, a bully is simply trying to take revenge.
- Check your privacy settings and make sure your posts are not public. It is always best to keep the settings to ‘friends’ only.
- Never open emails from sources you don’t know about and don’t download attachments from suspicious emails. They contain a spyware or malware which if land on your PC can let a criminal get access to your personal information.
Use a monitoring app
Security and privacy awareness in India is poor. The first thing any parent can do is make their kids aware of the concept of cyberbullying, stalking, and online harassment. They must know you will be there for them so that you are the first person they run to in case of any trouble. To be honest, it is not just kids, adults can become a victim of cyberbullying and harassment too. A sick online predator can start also physical stalking. To identify the problem and ensure online safety, use Xnspy, because:
- It can help you keep tabs on the location of their kids and other family members.
- If your kid is sharing personal information with someone on Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber or any other instant messenger, you can stop them and make them learn the importance of privacy.
- You can read emails on the phone’s default mailing app to be sure loved ones are not contacted by bullies or cyber-stalkers on email.
Know the law against cyberbullying
Whether it is bullying, stalking, or online harassment; anything that is committed in the cyberspace is a punishable offense. The Information Technology Act 2000 (IT Act) was formulated to deal with e-commerce and electronics records and punish the online offenses. As per the 2008 amendment of the IT Act, intimidation, harassment, insult, defamation, and stalking; all are punishable crimes.
Section 66A of the IT Act says that sending messages through a computer or any other device that is offensive or that has a menacing character or any communication that is untrue or is causing insult is a crime that is punishable for up to 3 years with a fine.