Although the presence of technology seems all encompassing, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself from technobullies.
Choose your screen name and email address carefully
Choose an address that does not reveal your age, gender, or occupation. The more vague it is, the safer you are.
Make your profile pages PRIVATE
All social networking sites have privacy settings that allow you to control the information that you choose to share. Allowing the entire world to have access to your pictures and personal information makes it easier for technobullies to target you.
Only communicate with people you KNOW. Don’t accept requests from strangers
If you limit your information to people you know and trust, you are decreasing your chances of becoming a victim of harassment, threats, or discrimination.
Think twice about the pictures you post online
- Right now, it may be fun to post pictures of you and your friends having fun and partying, but in a few years, those same pictures may come back to haunt you
- Remember, once you post something online it is there forever. Even if you delete a picture, you will have no idea how many people have already copied and saved that picture. Other people may have already taken your picture and sent it to hundreds or thousands of other people. The fact is, you just don’t know.
- In regards to the consequences of sexting, be careful of the pictures you take and the pictures you allow others to take of you. If you have naked or suggestive pictures on your phone or hard drive, be aware that it won’t take much effort to release those pictures to the public.
- People in relationships don’t tend to think about the location of their pictures once they break up with their significant other. It is important to keep in mind that oftentimes the demise of relationships can be a catapult for sexting.
- Sending naked pictures is considered pornography.
- Before you post or take pictures, ask yourself, “Would I care if my family saw these pictures?” If you wouldn’t, then chances are they are ok to post. If you would be embarrassed or ashamed if your family saw them, then you shouldn’t post the pictures. You just never know who is going to be on the receiving end.
Keep your password to yourself
- Only you and your parents should have access to your password. Be it for instant messenger, Facebook, email, or whatever, limiting outside knowledge of your password decreases the chance that your profile and account will be hacked into.
- What happens if you give your best friend your password and then you two get into a huge fight? What’s to stop your friend from going into your profiles and changing your information and humiliating or harassing you?
What can you do to protect yourself if you are a victim of technobullying
Do not respond to your attacker
If you respond to your attacker you will give them more power. Replying shows attackers that you have been affected by their words and will only encourage them to continue
Save and print the evidence of technobullying
Make sure you have proof not only of the harassment, but also of the date and time that it occurred. You will need to give this information to the proper authorities.
Block that person
No matter where the incident occurred, you need to make sure that you block that person from having any access to your profile, phone number, or screen name. For example, if you were harassed on Facebook, you not only need to block the perpetrator on that site, but you also need to block them on any and all other sites where they might get your information.
Report the incident
- Only you can determine who needs to be told about the technobullying incident. Whether you choose to report the incident to your parents, an older sibling, a teacher, or the police, just keep in mind that you MUST tell someone. Keeping this to yourself will only increase your anxiety and will do nothing to solve the problem.
- Don’t convince yourself that you can handle the problem on your own. There are plenty of people out there who will help you take charge and find ways to solve this issue.
- You should also report the perpetrator to your Internet Service Provider. You can have bullies blocked from certain internet sites,
- If you are embarrassed or just don’t feel comfortable reporting the incident to someone you know, then consider reporting it anonymously. You can report the incident on the BiasHELP Youth Website, youthwebonline.org. BiasHELP can also be accessed through the following sites:
You can also call the BiasHELP hotline at 1-877-END-BIAS (363-2427)
The recent media attention on the horrific consequences of technobullying has ensured that any report of technobullying will be taken very seriously. Help and resources are available to anyone who has been a victim of technobullying.