Almost 1 in 2 people are victims of cyberbullying, or have been affected by this crime in some way. The most troubling thing is that most victims are children and those who are still developing their sense of self. Cyberbullies can change your perspective, making you think badly of yourself when you shouldn’t be. That negativity can damage your whole life, from childhood into adulthood.
Are you or is your child a cyberbullying victim? You can make the ridicule and shame stop, permanently.
What is cyberbullying?
To understand cyberbullying, you first have to define it. The definition of cyberbullying is:
The act of bullying by use of an electronic medium. Usually sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.
The electronic medium is usually a computer or cell phone. Messages are for the primary purpose of harassment, humiliation, intimidation, threatening and embarrassment of the victim.
We define cyberbullying by 5 key categories:
An online argument that grows into something nasty. Insulting and hurting the other person becomes more important than the original goals.
Any kind of ongoing torment. The attacks are usually carried out over social media websites, emails, and phone messaging apps.
Anonymous Attacks and Fake Personas
Online attacks that come from an undisclosed source. The attacker hides his or her identity by using fake email addresses. Social media accounts are then created using the undisclosed identity. The attacker uses more than one account to fake an online conversation. The goal is to make it look like more than one person supports his attacks.
The attacker fakes another person's identity. They create accounts to look like your friends, family, or coworkers. Those accounts are then used to attack you or your child. The result is confusion and devastated feelings.
The use of personal information disclosed in private. The attacker gains your confidence and then puts things you shared in private, online. Sexting nude photos is one of the most damaging forms of outing. Click to learn more about sextortion and sexting. Jilted friends, ex-lovers and jealous parents are usually the source of outing.
Attackers use one of these tactics, or a combination of them. In the case of predatory paedophiles, we usually see them in combination.
Who should you suspect of being your cyberbully?
Cyberbullying is not a faceless crime and is punishable by law. Even if your cyberbully is as young as 10 to 13 years old, they may be responsible for your actions online and be punished. Australia, the US, Canada, and the UK have laws governing online behaviour. These laws often carry prison sentences.
Anyone can become a cyberbully. It can be your best friend, a neighbour, or a complete stranger. Even people you wouldn't suspect can become online bullies. In one case we worked on, it was the mothers of the other children who were bullying a young girl. That’s why it’s important that your case is investigated from an objective point of view, because “feelings” can often blind you from seeing the truth.
The effects of cyberbullying
Online bullying affects real people. Online attacks can tear you down to the point that you feel dehumanized. They make you feel sad. They cause fear and shame. As a victim, you have lowered self esteem and self confidence, qualities that can last your whole life.
The end result is deep depression which can result in suicide. In fact, victims are more likely to commit suicide—it's so common that there is an industry term for it: bullycide.
17% of people are being bullied (urban institute studies on bullying)
42% of kids are being bullied while online
35% of kids have been threatened online
21% of kids have received a threatening or vicious message online
58% of people admit that someone has said something mean, nasty, or hurtful while they’ve been online
53% of people admit that they’ve said something mean or hurtful to others while they were online
58% have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online
57% of the population will be bystanders and will not help. They’ll simply watch and not intervene
Victims are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider committing suicide.
How to prevent and stop cyberbullying
The first step is to make sure that you and your child understand what can happen to you as a victim. Education is the best way to prevent bullying.
In cases where it's too late and you're under attack, there are things that you can do. Understand that you are not alone and there is help.
Vital+Vectors specializes in the identification of online attackers. We use advanced technologies and social engineering to expose your bully. The police can use the evidence we collect to arrest criminals. The combination of physical exposure and police action puts an end to your bullying.
How we stop cyberbullying
Vital+Vectors uses a process to identify a wide range of data, involving diverse hacking and social media tactics, as well as a profound understanding of the legal structures that govern the online activities. We stand at the crossroads of the dark internet and law enforcement by using the same sophisticated technologies used by cyberbullies and online criminals, but for common good. Coupled with offline evidence collection for a more comprehensive profile, the information we obtain is cataloged and organized into a format which can then be used by police and lawyers for the purpose of prosecuting the cyberbully. We have assisted the federal government, international police services and various law firms in several cases.
Prosecuting your cyberbully
Our primary goal is to help identify and prosecute the offender so that the bullying stops. Vital+Vectors has worked closely with lawyers and law enforcement officers, forging special relationships to ensure that the evidence collected can be used for the purposes of arrest or legal prosecution in private or public court.
The same tools that the police and politicians rely on are used to identify and terminate online attacks for private individuals, parents, and corporations, and this high-level expertise is accessible by you.
Contact us today to learn more. You will know within the first 10 hours of our investigation whether you’ll get a positive result, or if you need to prepare for a longer term plan. The decision to proceed based on the initial investigation is up to you.
Laws governing cyberbullying:
Cyber-bullying and other forms of inappropriate online activity may in certain circumstances constitute a criminal offence. Both the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) and the Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld) contain relevant provisions.
The Privacy Protection and the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act governs online actions in Canada. On March 10th 2015 a new law came into effect under Bill C-13 which makes it illegal to distribute intimate images without consent.
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