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Blue Wednesday: Cyber Bullying Awareness

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Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying occurs when electronic communications such as text messages, emails, instant messages, and social media updates are used to threaten or humiliate someone. Its consequences can be just as serious as the effects of bullying that occurs in person.

Jorge Hernandez

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1. Attempt to identify the cause

Some bullies start out as a friend, an ex, or someone else you know well. If it seems possible to have a reasonable discussion with the person, consider asking him or her to stop. Have the conversation in person, not through email or text.

2. Stop responding to the bully's messages

If talking it out won't work, don't directly respond to the text messages, instant messages, emails or other communications you may have received from the bully. Bullies want to elicit a reaction from their targets, so firing back a text will only make things worse.

3. Save the evidence

File away every email, text, instant message, web address, and other evidence you collect from the bully. Record the time and date that each message was sent. Having as much information as possible about the bully's behavior will help you determine how to stop his or her behavior.

4. Block the bully

Immediately put an end to the bully's most invasive threats by blocking that person from direct communication with you. Once you've made sure all prior messages have been saved, take the following steps to protect yourself.

5. Change your account settings

Prevent the person from finding a new way to contact you by limiting the amount of personal information you make available online.