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Compared to the older generations, we live in a very modern era, as most of the world’s population has access to the Internet. The internet is a great place. You have access to information in a few seconds, and it connects people thousands of kilometers apart. You can order everything you need at home, or buy a plane ticket to the other side of the planet, while you’re on lunch break at work. In addition to all the positives, the Internet also has its downsides. People realize that as soon as they join, they can become anyone, and sometimes it brings the worst out in them. These negatives include online harassment, which we will address in the following article.
This form of harassment includes obscene messages, photos, videos especially without the permission/consent of the victim. It could be photos or messages from the harassers that you do not want to receive but also your photos used against your will and that is the reason why you have to be aware of what you are posting on your social media or sending to others.
Stalking is a form of unwanted behavior, directed at a specific person, which causes that person to feel afraid, nervous, or in danger because of repeated disruption of privacy. A stalker does not have to be a person who is waiting in front of your house all day. It could be someone who repeatedly makes new accounts or phone numbers to contact you or someone who collects information about you or your closest people from others to know everything about you.
One of the most common negatives on the Internet. It often happens through digital devices so it’s easier for harassers to hurt someone who does not have to look them straight in the face, they are less aware of the seriousness of their actions and the consequences. Such bullying can only seem like a kind of harmless entertainment. At the same time, anonymity protects their aggressor from revelation.
It is a type of social engineering attack often used to steal user data, including login credentials and credit card numbers by clicking an attachment in an email or message. Phishing is one of the most common forms of harassment on internet and company users and something it’s very hard to differentiate from the normal messages you receive on a daily basis. The content is often identical, but links are not.
This thing is rising in popularity on the other side of the ocean. It is defined as a false report to the police about illegal activity at someone’s home. At best, this can be extremely inconvenient. At worst, it can put the person swatted, and their family or roommates, in danger. Therefore, it’s not very common, but it has devastating consequences.
The majority of people offended by harassers felt hurt and this experience has a negative impact on how they feel about themselves. Having a community around is beneficial in this case.
It also could cause paranoia, when people with this experience find it hard to believe someone, that they don’t want to hurt them like someone else before did, which may cause aversion to social networks.
The worst scenario that can happen is when the victim of harassment is mentally weak it can lead to a mental breakdown of the victim and that can lead to a suicide attempt.
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In fact, there are a lot of things you can do to prevent and fight against online harassment.
Larger sites and platforms often have built-in mechanisms for reporting harassment. For smaller sites, you may need to reach out directly to the website’s administrator. These options can help get the person blocked and prevent them from contacting you again. Save the messages or emails you send and any replies you get from the administrator.
Report the person to the Police. Many states do have laws about cyberbullying and online harassment, so it’s still a good idea to report harassment. The officer you speak to may be able to give you more guidance on how to proceed and you can also involve a lawyer. It is also necessary to continue reporting any other incidents.
This can help decrease the negative impact of online harassment. You can contact groups of people who were harassed online which can help you mentally, or you can also share photos and information about your harasser online to help you to get him or other people to prevent contact with that person.
Many countries throughout the planet have strict laws against harassment in any form. It’s not different in the EU. For crimes of harassment, a person could go to prison for 5 years and also could be on the list of harassers for the rest of his life so it’s always a good choice to fight against people like these.
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The majority of online platforms allow you to limit who can see your account, your posts, or your personal information in privacy settings.
Limit how much information you share about yourself in your profile or in messages with strangers. Addresses, phone numbers, and especially locations shouldn’t be shared with everybody. If you’re streaming with others, establish boundaries in advance; when gaming with others, be aware of the hazards of not having control over what your audience might be exposed to through voice comms or in-game chat.
The best and easiest tip for avoiding communication with a harasser is not to reply. Obviously. You can avoid unwelcome things like offensive, vulgar and disgusting messages or pictures or phishing.
Block and report harassers – But what should you do if it’s necessary to communicate with strangers online and you suddenly realize that the person on the other side is behaving aggressively, strange, obscene, etc? Read more about privacy settings on the app or platform you are using or look for a professional anti-harassment service.
This should always be a high priority for you. Secure your accounts with a complex password including letters, numbers, or symbols and two-factor authentication. You never know how tech-savvy a harasser can be. Social media accounts are the ones that are most attacked.
Harassment has always been and unfortunately will be an issue on sites and platforms. The saddest fact is that even if websites, apps, and platforms had the strongest privacy policies and governments built the best laws against harassment, there will still be people who realize that they are safe online because of their tech skills, or because they could find a victim which is not mentally strong enough to break the contact and go to the police.
That’s the reason why harassment can have serious consequences for everyone involved, including the victim, those who witness the harassment and are emotionally affected by it. So don’t wait until it’s too late.
Identify your crime.
Break the communication.
Tell your closest people.
Document any proof.
Block and report that person.
If the person still wants to be in touch with you through fake accounts or still harasses you in any other way, report this crime to the Police. Don’t underestimate social media harassment.
Talk with the person.
Ask how you can help and listen.
Make it known that you see what is happening.
Document the situation. Report the incident.
Educate people around you.
If it is necessary, take some action and use the force of other close people to persuade the person that something is not right and it’s necessary to report the incident.
In every modern country, it is possible to sue online harassers. But each country has different laws and court costs so it depends on the country you live in. All this information is on government websites.
There may be more causes. Firstly, compared to previous years, more and more people have access to the internet and all social platforms worldwide. Along with the new information that people obtain through the Internet, understanding of their anonymity also goes hand in hand.
Secondly, according to the latest cyberbullying statistics, Coronavirus disease has a negative impact on this area too. Because of pandemic lockdowns, people around the world are spending 20 percent more time on social media sites than they were pre-pandemic.