Cyberbullying 101: What You Should Watch Out For

Cyberbullying 101: What You Should Watch Out For

Cyberbullying can quickly spiral out of control if you haven’t prepared for it in advance. You can find some expert tips on how to prevent online harassment if you follow the link, but here are the essentials you should keep an eye out for.

#1 Doxxing

It’s easy for uninformed outsiders to dismiss cyberbullying – just go offline and the problem disappears, right? But what happens if the cyberbullies get a hold of your private information? Say, your phone number, your real life address, your workplace, or your friends and family’s contact info?

Doxxing is exactly that: someone finds and posts your private details online “as a prank” or out of more malicious reasons. It’s not uncommon for doxxers to then harass family members or send inappropriate faxes to people’s workplaces. Or, if they take it to the extreme, call the police on them (“swatting”) with sometimes fatal consequences.

It’s best to avoid posting any private details online – whether it’s your address, where you went to college, where you work, or anything else that could point to your identity. Learn how to clean up your social pages to avoid giving potential cyberstalkers any more ammo.

#2 Compromised Emails

Cyberbullying doesn’t have to be inherently dangerous to get on your nerves. Someone may easily use spambots to flood you with junk mail. Block them, and they can just create a new account and continue
where they left off.

Use throwaway emails wherever possible, especially on non-essential accounts – social media, e-shops you don’t use regularly, forums, and so on. That way you minimize the damage from having your email exposed in a data breach or other hacking attempt.

#3 Location Tracking

One usual scare tactic cyberbullies may use is telling you they can find out where you live. How exactly? By finding out your IP address with an IP grabbing link or script, of course. If you weren’t aware, your IP contains details about your country, city, and ZIP code. As such, it can be a little concerning when a cyberbully or troll starts messaging you and mentioning where you live. Especially if you’re 100% certain you haven’t posted your actual location anywhere online.

Avoid clicking on any suspicious links, even if they’re sent by friends. You never know when their account has been compromised by a hacker. These links are also used in phishing scams, i.e. using fake websites to get you to hand over sensitive login info to the cyber attackers.

Use a Virtual Private Network (or VPN) to mask your online location as well. Just sign up with a provider, download their app, connect to a server, and you’ll gain an entirely new IP based on the location you’ve chosen. Not only will this hide your actual location from cyberstalkers, but you can use it to get around geo-restrictions on streaming sites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more.

On top of that, VPNs encrypt (or scramble) your online traffic, making it virtually impossible for anyone to see what you do online. Hackers, Internet providers, government agencies, and other eavesdroppers
will only see unreadable gibberish instead of your usual network activity.

On top of that, VPNs encrypt (or scramble) your online traffic, making it virtually impossible for anyone to see what you do online. Hackers, Internet providers, government agencies, and other eavesdroppers
will only see unreadable gibberish instead of your usual network activity.

To be fully prepared, try to document everything that may help in a police investigation. Screenshot texts and DMs, archive tweets and other online posts with a service like archive.today, record phone calls, and so on. Whatever you do, have them on hand when the police get involved – it’ll make the investigation go much more smoothly.

Tech Splashers

Tech Splashers

Tech Splashers are a team full of web developers, freelancers, tech bloggers, and digital marketing executives. We are passionate about the latest technology news, upcoming gadgets, business strategies and many more upcoming trends. We spread the tech news with passion and tenacity.

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