Examples of cyberbullying include posting derogatory and untruthful information about someone on social media sites, sending threatening electronic messages, hacking into online accounts to impersonate someone, and tricking others into revealing personal information with the intent to share their secrets. Cyberbullying occurs when people, particularly youths, use electronic technology, such as social media sites and text messages, to harass and stalk others.
Similar to face-to-face interaction, cyberbullying may involve exclusionary or threatening behavior. Teens may maliciously block a specific person from social groups online or use angry, offensive language to torment someone in chat rooms and forums. Cyberbullying is difficult to prevent or resolve because the aggressors can act anonymously, and the victims are often reluctant to seek help from parents and other authorities. Because cyberbullying attacks are perpetrated through recreational sites and personal gadgets, such as computers and cellphones, victims may be persecuted at any time of day and can't retreat to a safe place.
Severe cyberbullying can destroy kids' self-esteem and make them feel isolated in social settings or at school. Victims are more likely to skip school, decline in academic performance and withdraw from social activities, according to Violence Prevention Works. Parents should also pay attention to unusually moody or anxious behavior, especially when kids repeatedly appear upset after using the phone or computer.