Cyberbullying – Not Just for Children!

According to Wikipedia, Cyberstalkers (cyberbullies/cyberharrasers) “threaten a victim’s earnings, employment, reputation and/or safety using things like Weblogs, industry forums or boards and commercial Web sites.

One of the ways you can protect yourself online is to be active on social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.  If you use these tools to build your reputation, to help those in need and show that you genuinely care about others, people will soon begin to trust and depend on you.  Then, if someone tries to blacken your reputation or write untrue stories about you, your friends and contacts can leap to your defense.

Another way is to add yourself to people search and reputation management tools, such as .
This new tool, launched in 2008, states “So many people are unaware of what personal information is actually available on the Internet, and Yasni offers a fun and exciting way of keeping track of your own and others online reputation.”.

By searching for your profile online, you can see what type of content leads directly to you that people might be using in their efforts to harass you.

2 thoughts on “Cyberbullying – Not Just for Children!”

  1. “One of the ways you can protect yourself online is to be active on social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.” Oh please … what a load of misguided tosh! Having an active online presence is a guaranteed way of becoming A TARGET for cyber-bullies etc … use your common sense: if you DON’T ‘appear’ on social media sites, no-one will know who you are, anything about you, or how to contact you!

  2. Betty, When you say ‘if you don’t appear on social media sites, no one will know who you are…’ etc., you are clearly referring to only one type of cyberbully; one who becomes interested anonymously, out of the blue, due to something about you that is discovered online and catches the interest of an obsessed deranged person.

    Problem is, many cyberstalkers/impersonators/bullies already know the target in ‘real life’, then go online to begin a smear campaign. It may be a retaliatory effort from a person at work, or an ex, or anyone for any reason; the cyber-criminal is sick and obsessed and conjures up a reason to destroy a person, perhaps addicted to feeling of power, sheer enjoyment of torturing a person, or to eliminate a perceived threat in workplace etc (any or all of the above; or for any reason).

    Problem is, if you have a person intent on impersonating you online, if you do not have an online presence, the cyber-stalker/bully/impersonator can BECOME you in the eyes of the world. At least 80% of employers search a potential candidate online before hiring. It a person works in technology, that figure is far greater. If the cyber-impersonator is someone who knows you already, the tidbits of info they know about you from ‘real life’ is sprinkled in to make the impersonated, damaging content (blatant lies) about you believable. If the cyber-impersonation is done by an ex, or a work colleague, or even a supervisor who has access to your personnel file and entire work/education history, that person can globally and permanently destroy you, in REAL life, because nowadays “life” happens online as it is just another (very powerful and long lasting) communication infrastructure.

    In these situations, sticking your head in the sand and retreating from the internet will only give the criminal more power, as your reputation, your job, career, professional connections and personal relationships may be entirely placed at the whim of a nutcase who is obsessed with destroying your life. The nutcase may even engage in illegal activity, as you, and if you have no idea what’s coming, due to just NOT being online, you are a sitting duck and have no record of the crime being perpetrated, in order to defend yourself. Law enforcement has historically been a roll of the dice, so no telling whether the local police will ‘see through’ the cyberstalker efforts automatically, but I wouldn’t bet on it. You have to KNOW what that person has been posting should you become a target, and know what you are dealing with.

    Sure, staying offline and living decades behind the rest of the world will eliminate the ‘chance’ anonymous stalker, but often it is the real-life stalker/bully who takes it upon herself to take over YOUR identity online.

    If you do not have ANY identity online, and no knowledge stalking/impersonation of you is even occurring, you are, in everyone’s minds, whatever that nutcase portrays you to be.

    At this point, a target had better have a presence to counter the smears or you may be out a job, career, friends, family, home, credibility, and may even lose your very freedom depending on how persistent, manipulative and technically capable the stalker is.

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