Tag Archives: cyber security

What to Do when your Child is Cyber-Bullied

Internet safety tips from the Ascentive team

A Cyber-bully uses the Internet, cell phone, or other device to send or post text or images to try to hurt or embarrass other people. Whether it’s sending hurtful text messages and images or posting cruel comments on the Internet, cyber-bullying can have a seriously harmful effect on a child. Nasty comments, lies, and embarrassing photos and videos can be spread throughout the Internet by texting and by posts on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, or even Google+.

A recent survey conducted by Edith Cowan University revealed that up to 10 per cent of children say they have experienced cyber-bullying either online or via mobile phones. In the US, 50 percent of young people were being cyber-bullied and about 30 per cent reported they cyber-bullied others. And in the United Kingdom and Canada, the statistics were 25 percent.

One reason why there is such a staggering rise in cyber-bullying is that many Internet users still think they are anonymous and untraceable online. The same study highlights that the Cyber-bullying experiences was frequently anonymous, with 50 per cent of victims not knowing who was doing the bullying. The cyber bullies often mistakenly believe that it’s impossible to identify someone hiding behind an anonymous email account.

Most kids on their social networking sites or through chat clients have been bullied at one point in time. But that doesn’t mean that it has to be tolerated. Here are a few things you can do if your child has been cyber-bullied:

First of all, explain to your child that they shouldn’t retaliate. Tell them to save any hurtful emails or text messages to a folder for your review. You can also use an email filter and arrange for all the messages from the cyber-bully to go to a special folder, and then forward it on to the mail provider.

Second, have your child put social networking sites on private settings. This means that only approved people can view and leave comments on the profile.  Be sure to also remind your children to keep their passwords safe, and not to share secrets, photos, or anything online that might be embarrassing.

Third, teach your child to not talk to anonymous people online. And instruct your children never to pretend to be someone they are not in chat rooms, IM’ing, in blogs, or on social networking sites.

Finally, there are private investigators that specialize in Internet email tracing and cyber-bullying identifications. These investigators can track down, and identify the cyber-bully. Then by documenting their investigation and their results they can create a report that can be used in court to prosecute the cyber-bully that has crossed over the legal lines.


Report links Cyberbullying and Suicide

Internet safety tips from the Ascentive team

Although the taunting of children by their peers always been a fact of life while one grows up, the growing popularity of the Internet in our society has escalated bullying to alarming proportions. Known as Cyberbullying, this type of bullying usually occurs when individuals utilize information and communication technologies to execute deliberate, repeated, and hostile actions intended to harm others. Whether it’s creating a fake social network member page to impersonate another child, transmitting harmful text messages or images, or posting malicious comments somewhere on the Internet, CyberBullying can seriously hurt a child. Mean comments, lies, embarrassing photos, videos, or malicious polls can be spread to a wide audience through texts, email or through posts on social networks. Some photos are even doctored with Photoshop to make them even more embarrassing and harmful.

Even worse, studies are now connecting Cyberbullying and teen suicide. A report by Sameer Hinduja, Ph.D. and Justin W. Patchin, Ph.D of the Cyberbullying Research Center notes that victims of Cyberbullying were almost twice as likely to have attempted suicide when compared to children who have not experienced Cyberbullying at all.

So what can you do to prevent Cyberbullying?

Talk to your Child

The first and most crucial step to take to prevent CyberBullying is to talk to your child about it. Make sure they know CyberBullying is wrong, and explain your expectations for their behavior. Encourage your children to come to you immediately if anything gets out of hand, and make sure they know never to take revenge on a cyberbully.

Create a Code of Conduct

Warn your children that if they would not say something to someone in person, then they shouldn’t communicate it online. And remember to set guidelines for the use of their computers and cellphones.

Online Security

Remind your children to keep their passwords safe, and not to share anything private online. Have them create their email and IM accounts with you, and make sure they do not put their personal info in their profile or screen name.

Delete Suspicious Emails

Train your child to always trash suspicious emails without opening them.

No Pretend Behavior

Warn your child never to pretend that someone they are not in chat rooms, IM’ing, or on social networks.

Filter Emails

If your child is cyberbullyied via email, use an email filter to direct all the cyberbully’s messages to go to a special folder, then forward the messages to the email provider.

Block Bullies

Tell your child that they can block bullies from their messenger buddy list by clicking on the “Block Buddy” button.

Research School Policies

Review your children’s school’s policies on bullying and discuss them with your children. And if there are not any policies on bullying in place, ask whether there are any plans to create them.

Install Tracking Software

Tacking software is special software that tracks malicious emails and automatically forward these emails to the sender’s Internet Service Provider.

Watch your Children

Finally, continue watch your children’s behavior. Ask your children how they interact with their friends and what kinds of problems pop up.

Cyber-bullying in the Workplace

Internet safety tips from the Ascentive team

Parents all over the world are aware of the growing threat of cyber-bullying. Cyberbullying is the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group that is intended to harm others. Approximately half of U.S. students are impacted by bullying each school day on buses, in the cafeteria, gym, hallways, playground, and in classrooms. But you may be surprised to know that cyber-bullying has discovered a whole new arena: the workplace. Unfortunately, Cyber-bullying has taken workplace bullying to a new level.

We all know how quickly an email can spread information or an idea. Imagine the impact when an email or even a text messages broadcasts an unverified rumor about a target.

Even worse, whereas cyber-bullying is usually the act of one person attacking a single target, there’s also the possibility of cyber-bullying mutating into cyber-mobbing, which is an instance of multiple people attacking someone. All a workplace cyber-bully needs to know is your email address or phone number. These cyber-bullies can remain anonymous under an assumed email identity, or even block their number when calling you.

Luckily, there a few things you can do to curb cyber-bullying:

•    Save emails that contain any type of bullying messages. Your company may have a way to find out who owns that account, and you can then block that email address from sending you anything. In addition, the email can serve as evidence that you are being bullied. And if you have received a bullying email from a fellow employee, forward it to your Human Resources department.

•    Never use your work email account for personal matters. Always use a completely separate email account for personal use.

•   Never tell your online connections (people you have never met in real life) your company’s name or where it is located. If you do, you run the risk of someone learning the email address that you use for work.

•   Use an email program that filters out anyone that’s not list in your “safe” list. For extra security you can download an email verification program from the Internet that ensures you are in control of who sends you emails. With these programs an unidentified sender has to first apply to you, then you can accept or decline the request.

•    For Cyber-bullies who use text messages to attack, you can also block identified phone numbers. Just call your cell phone company to arrange the block on the number.

Although Cyber-bullying is a passive form of bullying, it’s as serious as any other form of bullying at work. Just remember that you can always take the steps above to block and verify who contacts you in order to regain control.

How Cyberbullies Attack

Computer safety tips from the Ascentive team

As technology evolves exponentially, it’s crucial that parents, educators, and local law authorities keep abreast of the potential threats that children may encounter online. Unfortunately, Cyberbulling is a rapidly growing problem. A cyberbully uses the Internet, cell phone, or other device to send or post text or images to try to hurt or embarrass other people. Here are the types of abuse to watch out for:

A popular form of Cyberbullying, trolling is the act of sending or posting electronic messages that are deliberately hostile, insulting, mean, angry, vulgar or insulting, to one person or several, either privately or publicly to an online group.

Inspired by popular Internet gossip sites, gossiping occurs when a person sends or publishes cruel rumors, or false statements about a person to intentionally damage the victim’s reputation or friendships.

Message Board Posts
Message Boards are online bulletin boards where people post anything they choose. Although there are many good bulletin boards on the net, there are many hostile message boards like 4chan that children should avoid, as the postings on these types of message boards are abusive.

Harassment is when the electronic bully repeatedly sends insulting, hurtful, rude, or insulting communications via email or text messages.

Impersonation the act of breaking into someone’s account by stealing a password and changing it, or by maliciously using information provided by a friend.

Happy slapping
Happy slapping occurs when an unsuspecting victim is physically attacked as an accomplice films or take pictures of the incident. The image or video is then posted online at a video site like YouTube or distributed electronically.

Text Wars
Similar to harassment, a Text War occurs when several people gang up on the victim, sending the target hundreds of emails or text messages, resulting in high cellphone bills.

Hate polls
A hate poll asks readers to vote on specific hateful questions, such as “Ugliest freshman” or “Biggest slut on campus?”

A more sophisticated form of Cyberbullying, this is the act of a computer hacker sending malicious computer code to the victim’s system in order to spy on the victim.

Images and videos
A result of the popularity of camera cell phones, photographs and videos of unsuspecting victims are now taken in bathrooms and locker rooms, then distributed online to humiliate the victims.

Outing occurs when a Cyberbully releases a victim’s confidential, private, or embarrassing information online, including private email messages or images meant for private viewing.

Trickery is when a person purposely convinces another person into divulging secrets, private information or embarrassing information, and subsequently publishes that information online.

A relatively minor form of Cyberbullying, exclusion occurs when someone intentionally excludes another person from an online group or community.

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