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Cyberbullying and How Internet Privacy Is Involved

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Cyberbullying and How Internet Privacy is Involved

This paper is going to be about how cyberbullying and internet privacy go hand-in-hand with each other. Cyberbullying is the use of electronic communication, like the internet and social media websites and cell phones, to bully a person, usually sending hurtful or embarrassing messages to them (Helen Cowie, 2013). Many of the articles that are going to be using for this paper talk about the different ways cyberbullying affects teens and young adults and also how internet privacy plays a role in cyberbullying. There is an article from Bob Sullivan (2013) that talks about how internet privacy is a complicated issue and there are criminals who break into websites to steal personal information. Since people can get someone else’s personal information, that makes it easier for a cyberbully to create a fake profile on a social media site, and make fun of and belittle someone else.

Keywords: Cyberbullying, electronic communication,

Cyberbullying and How Internet Privacy is Involved Traditional face-to-face bullying has been identified as a risk factor for the social and emotional adjustment of perpetrators, targets, and bully victims during childhood and adolescence. Bullies have now found a new way to reach their targets, by cyberbullying. They now can go on the internet and social media websites or use their cell phone. With the bully being able to do this they have the power to reach their targets at any time of the day or night (Helen Cowie., 2013). Teens should be able to go on their social media websites and have all their personal information private, that way no one can get that information and expose another teen. Because bullying has surpassed school and made its way onto social media websites, which are supposedly private and used quite frequently in the lives of teenagers, there is a more frequent chance that teens will develop anxiety and depression, and the apparent attempts of suicide are increasing in the lives of adolescents. Just about everyone knows that bullying is when one person targets another person and makes fun of them, talks about them, and belittles them face-to-face. Cyberbullying is a different form of bullying, but has the same effect as bullying, however, it is occurs over the internet and through text messages. Cyberbully is when a bully uses electronic communication, such as the internet and social media sites and their cell phone to write hurtful or embarrassing things about someone (Helen Cowie., 2013). According to Low (2012), “race, gender, and family environment influenced bullying behavior in a group of young teens.” Many teens and young adults are the targets of bullying. They know how to use the internet and have social media profiles and cell phones, it makes it easier for cyberbullies to gain access to bully other teens. Cyberbullying often begins with relationship issues, whether a friendship is no longer intact or a romance relationship (Helen Cowie., 2013). When a friendship is no longer intact, one person can start spreading rumors or secrets they know about the other person. When a romance relationship is no longer intact, one person may also spread rumors about the other person, but they might also have pictures or videos of them that could potentially be inappropriate and that they should not have sent. These are things that could harm someone and ruin their life (Helen Cowie., 2013). Cyberbullying can also start because of a person’s race, religion, skin color, sexual orientation, or where they came from. Creative Commons License (2014), states that “there are two kinds of people who are likely to bully: those who are popular and those who are on social fringes. Popular kids or teens may bully because they see it as a way to stay popular and because hurting others makes them feel powerful. Kids or teens who are less socially successful may bully because: it helps them cope with their own low self-esteem, they think it will help them fit in with their peers, and they have trouble empathizing with those they hurt.” Many teens feel like cyberbullying someone else makes them feel better about themselves and helps raise their self-esteem. Bullying and cyberbullying can have an impact on a teen’s emotional health. There has been research that children who are cyberbullied may experience problems associated with their health, emotional well-being, and academic work. Bullied children are more likely than non-bullied children to have feelings of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem (R. Kowalski & S. Limber., 2013). Students who are cyberbullied develop stomach pain, sleep problems, headaches, tension, bedwetting, fatigue, and poor appetite. Many teens do develop depression from being cyberbullied. With teens developing depression, they shut everyone out and do not want to talk to anyone about what is wrong. Teens with depression keep everything that is happening to them bottled up and end up turning to suicide as the way out and the way to fix all their problems. Another thing that happens to teens who are cyberbullied is they develop anxiety. Teens who develop anxiety have a range of social and emotional difficulties including feeling unsafe at school, perceptions of being unsupported by school staff, and not wanting to be around people (Ludmila Battista., 2015). When a teenager gets bullied in school or is cyberbullied at home, chances are they do not want to talk to anyone about it or report it to their parents or a teacher at school. Another thing that happens when teens are cyberbullied, they start to receive lower grades because they are worrying about what their bully is going to do to them next (R. Kowalski & S. Limber., 2013). Poor parental monitoring is consistently associated with a higher risk for young people to be involved in cyberbullying (Helen Cowie., 2013). Parents need to be monitoring what websites that their children go on. Even teenagers, ages 16-18 should at least let their parents see what websites they are going on to ensure that they are safe. Mostly every website that one goes on, can easily have internet predators who can turn into a cyberbully. Parents also should look at who their children are friends with on social media websites. Most kids know their friend’s names and know it is okay to add them. However, if they get a friend request from someone they do not know, they should tell their parents and then decline the request and block that person. This is just a simple way that teens can avoid getting cyberbullied by someone or avoid having their personal information stolen. Teens should not have personal information on any of their social media websites. The main reason for this is because with having all their personal information on their profile, it is easier for a cyberbully to make a fake profile about them and be able to write embarrassing and hurtful things about them (S. Low & D. Espelage., 2012). Parents should always make sure that teens are not putting all their personal information on the internet and they also need to make sure their privacy settings are all set to private. Sometimes, teens rather not talk to adults about being cyberbullied because they fear the loss of having and using their cell phones and losing internet access. Teens also fear that their parents would simply advise them to ignore the situation or that they would not be able to help them as they are not accustomed to cyberspace (Helen Cowie., 2013). There are steps that schools are able to take to address the issue of cyberbullying. First they need promote a culture of respect and a tolerance or appreciation for diversity. Schools can provide information of cyberbullying and make it a part of the school’s policy and student code of conduct that the use of technology and appropriate and respectful interactions that do not compromise the physical and emotional health of students (Ludmila Battista., 2015). Schools can also set up certain days out of the school year to have “bully prevention” and have the students talk about the dangers of bullying and cyberbullying. The students can also watch videos about true stories of kids who were cyberbullied and what they went through. Schools can have class meetings about the dangers of cyberbullying and what it does to other kids. This is a very strong way for every student to get informed as to how bad cyberbullying truly is. Teens need to know that cyberbullying does come with risks. Cyberbullying can drive a student into having emotional and health problems, like depression and anxiety. Cyberbully also makes teens not want to go to school because they are forced to have to see their bully (Helen Cowie., 2013). There are many ways that cyberbullying could be avoided. The most important reason would be internet privacy. According to Cory Janssen (2015), “internet privacy is the privacy and security level of personal data published via the Internet.” This term refers to a variety of factors, techniques and technologies used to protect sensitive and private data, communications, and preferences. There are many things people use the internet for. Some examples would be for school and taking classes online, for their job, communicating with friends and family by email, online shopping, and social media sites. Many people use the internet for social media sites because this is a way that they can stay in contact with friends and family who do not live close to them. People use the internet for their job when they have to write emails to someone or when they are looking for a new idea for their company. There are also people who use the internet to go shopping online. Many people use online shopping because they do not like shopping in the store, or they found something in the store they liked, but the store did not have their size or it was no longer in stock. As you can tell, there are many uses for the internet, some of them can be good and some of them can be bad. People just need to be careful what websites they go on and what information they put on the internet as well.
When someone goes on the internet, they are trusting that their personal information is going to be private, such as their credit card number, where they live, their phone number, and their private personal information. Many people nowadays have social media profiles such as Facebook. Facebook does give the option to have profile information public or private. It is a lot safer to keep information private so no one finds that information out. It is even safer to not put any personal information that you would not want to get out to the public. It can be very easy for someone to get that information and potentially ruin your life. Everyone needs to be careful as to what they put on the internet. Many people think that their information can only get out from social media sites, however, private information can get out from an e-mail account. Jamie Court, (2010) explains that “an Illinois woman whose husband had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, sent an e-mail using a Gmail account to friends and family and almost immediately she started receiving prostate cancer Google ads. When it turned out her e-mail was not hacked, but Gmail sold her private information.” People do not realize that there information can get out on the internet no matter what they do. There are ways people know how to hack into email or into your bank account. This is why people always say not to put your information on the internet. If information from an e-mail account can be sold, it is just as easy for other people to get your private information by hacking. There is one way that people can get other’s information called phishing and it is an internet hacking activity used to steal secure user data, including username and password (Cory Janssen., 2015). This is one way that people can make a fake profile of someone else and turn it into cyberbullying. When someone makes a fake profile of someone else, that gives them the opportunity to write things about them to hurt them or belittle them. They can also find photos or videos of a person and post them on the fake profile, embarrassing them. These photos or videos sometimes could be videos that no one was supposed to see and were supposed to be very private. Ludmila Battista (2015), shared a story “On September 22, 2010, Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman at Rutgers University in New Jersey, leaped to his death off of the George Washington Bridge in New York after his roommate secretly videotaped a romantic encounter between Clementi and another man and posted it to the web.” Things like this is what can drive people to suicide and people who do horrible things like this, do not think about that happening until it already did. They can also use this private information to talk about them in group chatrooms so more people know about it and more people can cyberbully the same person. Also, the person who made the fake profile can pretend to be that person. They can pretend that they know all their friends and their family members. It can potentially ruin a person’s life until they can get everything sorted out and get all their personal information back and is safe again. Parents can talk to their children about the dangers of putting personal information online. Teens need to know as they get older and they meet new people in high school, not all of them are going to be their friend. There are going to be other kids who pretend to be their friend to get information out of them and then they will turn around and start spreading rumors. In the end, cyberbullying and internet privacy go hand-in-hand with each other. Cyberbullying starts with the information that should be private on a social media site, but instead is public. This makes it easier for the fake profile to be created. Teens who are cyberbullied do get hurt and even develop emotional health problems from rumors that are started about them. There are many emotional health problems, such as depression, anxiety and even suicide that stem from cyberbullying. The biggest thing that should be stressed is to keep all your information private. That way cyberbullying is avoided, and a teen does not take their life at an early age.

Battista M.A., L. (2015). Cyberbullying - What Schools Can Do about It. Retrieved from
Boyd, D. (2014, August 5). Teens are waging a Privacy War on the Internet - Why Marketers Should Listen. Retrieved from
Court, J. (2010, December 27). Invading Our Privacy on the Internet. Retrieved from
Cowie, H. (2013, May 7). Cyberbullying and Its Impact on Young People’s Emotional Health and Well-Being Retrieved from www.academia,edu/3575384/cyberbulling_and_its_impact_on_young_peoples_emotional_health_and_well-being
Delete Cyberbully - A Stop Online Harassment Project. (2015). Retrieved from
Janssen, C. (2015). What is Internet Privacy? Retrieved from
Kopytoff, V. (2013, March 5). Protecting Privacy on the Internet. Retrieved from
Kowalski PH.D., R., & Limber Ph.D., S. (2013, July). Psychological, Physical, and Academic Correlates of Cyberbullying and Traditional Bullying. Retrieved from
Low, S., & Espelage, D. (2012). What Causes Teens to Become Cyberbullies? Retrieved from
Sullivan, B. (2013). Online Privacy Fears are real. Retrieved from

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