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Cyberbullying Facts | Signs of Cyberbullying | Education News

Nov 1, 2013 by

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Cyberbullying Facts | Signs of Cyberbullying | Education News

One of the most common tactics used by cyberbullies is called Impersonation. Impersonation or “imping” as a tactic in cyberbullying can only occur with Cyberstealth offered by digital technology. Cyberbullies impersonate the target child and make unpopular online comments on social networking sites and in chat rooms. Using impersonation, cyberbullies set up websites that include vitriolic information leading to the target child being ostracized or victimized in more classic bullying ways. If the cyberbully has access to the target child’s password and/or personal information, extensive damage to the target child’s reputation, friendships, financial status and familial structure is often the result. Using impersonation, the target child’s reputation and friendships, central to their development, are jeopardized.

The ability for cyberbullies to practice Cyberstealth compounds their devastating impact on the target child by making it very difficult to identify, locate and report their abusive tactics. In addition to using Cyberstealth to hide their identity and whereabouts, cyberbullies create felonious profiles, create profiles mimicking the target child, denigrate the target child and a cornucopia of other divisive tactics. Combined with “around the clock” access to the internet, ability to spread malicious information quickly and the importance of online activities are to today’s children, Cyberstealth is a concept and practice causing the target child additional distress.

Understanding how Cyberstealth is regularly accessed in the cyberbullies toolbox, it is paramount for parents and educators to educate children on this reality and method. Children need to be fully abreast of the concept of Cyberstealth and how, why and when it is used. Most importantly, children need to be educated on the 100% probability that cyberbullies use Cyberstealth to engage in criminal or bordering criminal online activities.

As nations continue to educate children on cyberbullying, toughen laws and encourage innovative anti-cyberbullying products and services, cyberbullies will be required to become much more adept in their Cyberstealth tactics. As national attention is being focused on bullying and cyberbullying awareness and prevention, cyberbullies will have to, to avoid punishment, create and design new and more efficient Cyberstealth tactics.

The greater the feeling of inferiority that has been experienced, the more powerful is the urge to conquest and the more violent the emotional agitation.” Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

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Signs of Cyberbullying

When looking for signs suggesting a child is being cyberbullied, it is important to first understand the differences between normal childhood developmental milestones and the psychological & behavioral changes related to cyberbullying. Not that a parent or guardian is required to become proficient in Developmental Psychology, but taking the time to investigate the stages of being a child, tween and teen will benefit in cyberbullying identification.

Based on this writer’s clinical and academic experiences, working with children, adolescents and their families, he evaluates all childhood trauma response by looking for three primary signs suggesting the child is, or has been, traumatized by cyberbullying or potential pediatric trauma. These signs are what this writer has termed Rapid Behavioral Shift (RBS), Increased Isolation (II) and Familial Withdrawal (FW).

I. If a parent or caregiver notices the child is exhibiting different or uncharacteristic behaviors, not resembling their personality or day-to-day routines, raise a red flag.

II. If a parent or caregiver observes the child is spending more time isolating in their room, offline, at home and away from school-based activities, raise a red flag.

III. If a parent or caregiver notices the child is spending less than normal time engaged in family functions like dinnertime, family outings, holiday functions and social exchanges with parents, siblings and/or extended family members? Raise a red flag.

If one of the red flags have been raised, then it is important to discuss those observations with the child. If two of the red flags have been raised, there is almost a 100% probability that something has gone awry in the child’s life requiring attention by the parent involved. If all three red flags are raised, there is no doubt that the child is suffering from something distressing in his/her environment and requires immediate and sustained attention until the parent or guardian has accurately pinpointed the source of the child’s distress.

If bullying or cyberbullying is the source of the child’s distress, chances are they will not want to disclose these events about the bullying or the perpetrating children involved. The target child’s reluctance to disclose they are a victim of cyberbullying is rooted in fear, embarrassment, shame and allegiance to their peers if one or more of them are the cyberbully(s). Primary fears children have about disclosing cyberbullying are concern the parent or caregiver will insist they delete their social profiles, restrict their online access, restrict their time online or insist they return their mobile phone. If the cyberbullied child perceives any of these consequences as viable, he/she will almost certainly never discuss any problems he/she is having online.

To ensure an open line of communication related to cyberbullying is established, it is paramount for the parent or caregiver to verbalize often to the child they will suffer none of the consequences described above if they come to them if cyberbullying is happening. When it comes to cyberbullying, the child needs to know that whether they are being cyberbullied or the cyberbully, they will not lose any of their online privileges provided they are agreeable to discuss the issues and prepared to resolve them in an expeditious manner.

Signs Suggesting Cyberbullying

1. The child is using their computer, mobile device or phone late at night more than usual for reasons other than academic requirements.

2. The child’s grades are declining that cannot be explained by environmental factors or reports from school officials.

3. The child is misbehaving in school or isolating more than usual.

4. The child exhibits a change in their ordinary daily activities and routines such as eating, sleeping, mood swings, etc.

5. The child appears upset or withdrawn after internet use.

6. The child appears more anxious and fearful, especially as it relates to school attendance and/or internet educational tasks.

7. There is evidence that the child is covering their online tracks such as clearing their history folders before shutting off the computer or mobile device.

8. When a child is being bullied, taunted or abused online, chances are it is someone the child knows within his or her social circle or online activity acquaintances engaging in overt or covert aggression.

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Recommendations for Parents and Primary Caregivers

1. Maintain open communication with your child. Speak with them often and habitually inquire 3-5 times monthly if they have or have been cyberbullied. As part of asking the child about their day, always be sure to include a question regarding their online activities.

2. Tell the child that you trust and support specifically related to their online activities. Consistently remind them they will not lose their online privileges, interactive online gaming time, mobile devices or social network site privileges due to cyberbullying issues provided they are open, honest and forthright.

3. Work with trusted adults at school such as school administrators, teachers or school counselors. Attend all scheduled PTA meetings; visit often the school’s website if they have one, forward relevant internet safety and anti-bullying information you may come across, investigate the school’s bullying and internet safety awareness programs and investigate the school’s bullying and disciplinary policy’s.

4. If the child is being bullied or cyberbullied, consistently communicate to the child that revenge and retribution are not solving the problem and could make the situation worse if they begin cyberbullying back the aggressor or another vulnerable child.

5. Help the child to retain and log all records related to being cyberbullied including chat transcripts, photos, website pages, emails (including full headers) and online correspondences as evidence for future use if needed.

6. Inform the cyberbullies Internet Service Provider (ISP) or cell phone service provider of the abuse and request in formal writing contact date, purpose of contact, and steps for resolution. 

7. Contact the cyberbullies parents informing them, along with copies of the recorded evidence, their child’s cyberbullying events have been aggregated along with the authorities and legal counsel being contacted if not resolved.

8. Some children do not recognize that they are cyberbullying peers and may believe that it is innocent play or online bantering. If meeting with the cyber bully’s parents, explain this to the parents and use the word “bullying”, which serves as a wakeup call that their child is engaged in possible punishable activities.

9. Make sure you keep yourself well informed of the most popular social media applications and the various social networking sites currently popular. If you don’t know what sites your child visits, casually and persistently ask them to show you their favorite online sites.

10. Any changes in your child’s behavior, leading to overt and persistent signs of depression and anxiety, should be noted. If your child suddenly stops attending social activities with his or her peers, ask what the problem is and assume the problems are peer related and likely involve online activities in some form.

11. If your child breaks contact or avoids contact with some or all of his or her friends, it is paramount to establish a persistent line of communication to investigate potential cyberbullying issues.

12. If your child’s friends stop coming over for visits, stop calling or no longer inviting your child to social events and activities, chances are your child is being alienated for a reason. Find out what has transpired as it may be your child is being excluded as a target victim or they may be bullying others.

13. Make sure you have a good and open relationship, not only with your child, but with his or her friends as well. This will enable you to approach them, should you have any concerns about your child. Your child’s friends will be the first to know, if your child is being targeted. Unless the friends are the ones doing the targeting, which is sometimes the case, having a close relationship with your child’s friends will always yield valuable information.

The neurotic is nailed to the cross of his fiction. Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

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IPREDATOR INC.

iPredator Inc. is a New York State based Information Age Forensics Company founded to provide educational and advisory products & services to online users, consumers and organizations on cyberbullying, cyber harassment, cyberstalking, cybercrime, internet defamation, cyber terrorism, online sexual predation and cyber deception. Created by a NYS licensed psychologist and certified forensic consultant, Michael Nuccitelli Psy.D., C.F.C., their goal is to reduce victimization, theft and disparagement from online assailants.

In addition to assisting citizens, iPredator Inc.’s mission is to initiate a nationally sustained internet safety and cyber attack prevention educational & awareness campaign with the help of private, state and federal agencies. Dr. Nuccitelli can be reached at DrNucc@iPredatorInc.com. Their website, www.iPredator.co, offers site visitors an enormous database, at no cost or personal information disclosure, on Information Age Forensics, Internet Safety and iPredator Profiling.

For consumers seeking internet safety education and cyber-attack protection, feel free to read about iPredator Inc.’s innovative advisory-based membership service called, iPredator Protected. With the growth and expansion of social media, Dr. Nuccitelli and iPredator Inc. offers a unique assessment service called the iPredator Facebook Safety Analysis (iFSA). In addition to offering advice, education and investigation, Dr. Nuccitelli has designed 26 internet safety and cyber attack prevention checklists and inventories (IISC & IPI Collections). iPredator Inc. also offers abridged versions (IISC Collection-Abridged) that are less expensive and geared more for individual online users. All of Dr. Nuccitelli’s checklists and inventories were designed for assessment, diagnostics, education and prevention education.

Dr. Nuccitelli can be reached at DrNucc@iPredatorInc.com. Their website, www.iPredator.co, offers site visitors an enormous database on Cyber Criminal Psychology, Internet Safety and iPredators. Although iPredator Inc. has joined a multitude of social networking sites, feel free to visit their social sites planned to be their major information and announcement vehicles.

 “Pathological human narcissism transforms the actions of deceit, denial & misrepresentation into a reliable set of tools for those seeking to hide their indiscretions.” Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D., C.F.C. iPredator Inc. (2013)

PROTECT, PREVENT & PREVAIL OVER IPREDATORS!

Author: Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D.

by iPredator Inc. 

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