Cyberbullying and the Wild, Wild Web Book Review

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I’d like to share with you tips from the book Cyberbullying and the Wild, Wild Web: What You Need to Know by J.A. Hitchcock. I’ll give you my review and summary of the book, and you may want to get a copy to read it for yourself.

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Cyberbullying and the Wild, Wild Web Book Review & Summary

This book gives an overview of cyberbullying, with some basic and helpful advice. It would’ve been much more helpful if it were more specific. For example, it advises talking to your child if they’re a victim of cyberbullying, or the perpetrator of cyberbullying. The book could have included scripts or sample conversations. The book also recommends using filtering and monitoring software, and lists a few examples, but doesn’t describe what features to look for, or how to effectively use the software, or talk to your child about it.

The book would have benefited from more positive stories, telling how kids survived cyberbullying (maybe with the help of their parents or others). Almost all the stories are negative, showcasing the emotional and physical damage cyberbullying can lead to. Because the book contains graphic stories (with sex and violence), it’s for mature readers.

The book is repetitive; similar advice is given in different chapters.

The author is the founder of Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHO@), which runs the websites HaltAbuse.org and the kids/teens division, HaltAbuseKTD.org. The author was cyberstalked in 1996, and dealt with the results for 10 years.

Here are my notes from each chapter.

Cyberbullying and the Wild, Wild Web: What You Need to Know
$19.00

The world has changed drastically over the past decade. The Internet has had a huge part in that, as it has made the world more accessible to anyone of any age, race, or gender. Used for entertainment, education, shopping, dating and more, the internet has provided a whole new virtual world for everyone to enjoy. But with the good also comes the bad—and for kids and teens these days, the bad has becomes a constant threat from cyberbullies and cyberstalking.

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
August 3, 2020 4:05 am UTC

Forward

Almost half of teens have been cyberbullied in the past year. 2/3 of them think it’s a serious problem. Only 1/6 of parents are aware of the scope or intensity of cyberbullying.

Who Are Cyberbullies?

43% of students were cyberbullied by someone they knew, who was their age.

59% of cyberbullies are girls.

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is technically cyberstalking (repeated online communications after the harasser has been asked to stop). The media coined the term “cyberbullying” to refer to cyber talking done by kids and teens.

Girls are more likely to spread rumors; boys are more likely to post hurtful pictures or videos.

What If Your Child is a Cyberbully?

Warning signs that your child is a cyberbully

  • When you approach, child changes or closes what’s on-screen.
  • The child turns off the phone or places it upside down, so you can’t see the screen.
  • Child uses computer or phone frequently and/or at all hours of the night.
  • Child gets annoyed if they don’t have access to computer or phone.
  • Child avoids talking about what they do on computer or phone.
  • Child laughs excessively when on computer or phone.
  • The child has been involved in bullying incidents at school or has been targeted by bullies in the past.

If you learn your child has been cyberbullying

  • Ask why they’re doing it. Let them know you want to help.
  • Tell them it could lead to legal action, even arrest.
  • Tell them they could get kicked out of school, lose their job, lose a scholarship, or lose a college admission.
  • Consider going with your child to school counselor, child’s teacher, and/or principal.
  • Require that children use devices in a common room.
  • Consider filtering and monitoring software.
  • Consider limiting a child’s time on the Internet.
  • Have the child delete cyberbullying posts, messages, etc. 
  • If necessary, tell parents of the child’s friends what’s going on.
  • Have the child apologize to cyberbullying victims.
  • Have a child read stories of cyberbullying victims, to understand the pain.

When Sexting Becomes Sextortion

FBI’s advice

  • Don’t blindly trust that people are who they claim.
  • Don’t send pictures to strangers.
  • Don’t post pictures you wouldn’t show your grandma.

Interpol’s advice for cyberbullying victims

  • Cease all contact with the aggressor.
  • Report to local police, ISP, website admin, and trusted adult.
  • Don’t pay for sextortion.

Social Media Websites and Apps

What to do when attacked anonymously online

  1. Reply with “please stop contacting me.”
  2. Report bullying/harassment to the site/app. If you can’t find contact link under Privacy, Support, or Contact pages, try emailing abuse@domain.
  3. Delete or block the bully.
  4. Lockdown your privacy settings.
  5. Delete anyone you don’t know from your friend/follower list.
  6. Delete personal info from your profile (phone numbers, addresses, birth date, email address, etc.).
  7. Delete any online photos or videos you wouldn’t want to have spread.
  8. If the bullying continues, save screenshots, messages, etc. If you received threats of physical harm, file police report. Tell a trusted adult what’s happening.

Cell and Smartphone Know-how

What to do when cyberbullied on your phone

  1. Take a screenshot of the text message and the sender’s number.
  2. Tell your phone provider about texts.
  3. Do an online search of the number that texted you. Put number in quotes. Find the phone service provider of that number and tell them about the text.
  4. If text threatened physical harm, contact law enforcement.
  5. Block number.

Phone security and safety

  • Enable screen lock.
  • Pay attention to permissions requested by apps.
  • Keep Bluetooth off when not needed.
  • Enable anti-theft features (block, find, wipe).
  • Don’t open suspicious links.
  • Only enter sensitive data on HTTPS pages.
  • Use cellular data rather than public Wi-Fi.

Cyberbullying and the Wild, Wild Web: What You Need to Know
$19.00

The world has changed drastically over the past decade. The Internet has had a huge part in that, as it has made the world more accessible to anyone of any age, race, or gender. Used for entertainment, education, shopping, dating and more, the internet has provided a whole new virtual world for everyone to enjoy. But with the good also comes the bad—and for kids and teens these days, the bad has becomes a constant threat from cyberbullies and cyberstalking.

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
August 3, 2020 4:05 am UTC

What Parents and Educators Need to Know

If your child is cyberbullied

  1. Tell child to keep everything they receive, or is posted. Take screenshots.
  2. Encourage the child to tell a trusted adult what’s happening.
  3. Have the child message bully just once to say, “please stop contacting me.” Keep a copy of the message.
  4. Tell the child not to respond to bully anymore, but keep gathering any new bullying material.
  5. Send a complaint to the bully’s ISP.
  6. If a bully created a website or account to bully your child, complain to the host or service provider.
  7. If bullying continues, contact haltabusektd.org.

If your child is cyberbullying others

  • See if there’s a reason child is acting out, such as home situation, parental divorce, a parent away at work, struggling with school work, etc.
  • Seek counseling if necessary.
  • Examine your relationship with the child.
  • Examine the interpersonal behavior you’re modeling; are you a good example?

Advice for parents

  1. Get familiar with sites and apps child uses. Friend/follow child. Tell them it’s to keep them safe, not to snoop.
  2. Keep computers in rooms they can be observed, but don’t keep looking over the child’s shoulder.
  3. Set daily cutoff time for any mobile devices.
  4. Limit who can contact your child, and vice versa.
  5. Put filtering or monitoring software on any device child uses.
  6. Monitor browsing history.

Have kids sign pledge, like safety pledge at haltabusektd.org (PDF).

Give a child list of things they may share online.

Online Safety Tips, Resources, and Where to Go for Help

Cyber Street Smarts

  • Don’t trust everybody you meet online, even if they claim to be a mutual friend.
  • Only approve friends you know.
  • Be careful what you post online—it can and will be used against you.
  • Create a strong password, and don’t share it.
  • Use a generic username/email address. Never give your real name, age, address, workplace, or phone number online, without permission from parents.
  • Lockdown your privacy settings.
  • Don’t send sexy photos of yourself to others. They could go public. And, it’s against the law.
  • Only say online what you would say to someone’s face.
  • If you’re not comfortable with someone who contacts you, don’t respond. Block or ignore unwanted users.
  • If you’re bothered online, don’t defend yourself or seek revenge, which only escalates bullying.

Filtering and monitoring software

Organizations that help victims of cyberbullying, sextortion, etc.

Cyberbullying and the Wild, Wild Web Book Review – Final Thoughts

If you found this summary helpful, then read the book, Cyberbullying and the Wild, Wild Web: What You Need to Know by J.A. Hitchcock.

Cyberbullying and the Wild, Wild Web: What You Need to Know
$19.00

The world has changed drastically over the past decade. The Internet has had a huge part in that, as it has made the world more accessible to anyone of any age, race, or gender. Used for entertainment, education, shopping, dating and more, the internet has provided a whole new virtual world for everyone to enjoy. But with the good also comes the bad—and for kids and teens these days, the bad has becomes a constant threat from cyberbullies and cyberstalking.

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
August 3, 2020 4:05 am UTC

The Resources page has additional books about Internet safety, security, and digital parenting.

What You Should Do

Here are the top tips I’ve selected from this book.

For Parents

  1. Teach your kids the advice in the next section. Tell your kids they can come to you with any cyberbullying issue.
  2. Get familiar with the sites and apps your kids use. 
  3. Set daily cutoff time for any mobile devices.
  4. Put filtering or monitoring software on any device your kids use. Consider those listed above, and see my post on parental controls and Internet filtering software.
  5. Watch for the warning signs that your child is a cyberbully, described above.
  6. If your child has been cyberbullying, address the issue, using the advice above.

For Kids (Teach Them These)

  1. Never give out personal info (your real name, age, address, workplace, phone number, birth date, email address, etc.) without permission from your parents. Keep personal info off your profiles.
  2. Lockdown your privacy settings.
  3. Be careful what you post online—it can and will be used against you.
  4. Don’t blindly trust that people are who they claim online, even if they claim to be a mutual friend. Only approve friends you know and can verify.
  5. Delete anyone you don’t know from your friend/follower list.
  6. Don’t send pictures to strangers.
  7. Don’t send or post pictures you wouldn’t show your grandma. They could go public. Don’t send or post nude or partially nude photos of yourself. It’s against the law, and they could go public.
  8. Delete any online photos or videos you wouldn’t want to have spread.
  9. If you’re not comfortable with someone who contacts you, don’t respond. Block or ignore unwanted users.

How to Respond to Cyberbullying

  1. As long as it continues, keep all bullying content you receive, or is posted. Save messages, screenshots, etc.
  2. Reply to bully with “please stop contacting me.” Then stop contacting the bully.
  3. Delete or block the bully.
  4. Report bullying to your parent or another trusted adult.
  5. Report bullying to the sites or apps that the bully is using.  If you can’t find a contact link under the Privacy, Support, or Contact pages, try emailing abuse@domain.
  6. Report bullying to the bully’s ISP (Internet Service Provider).
  7. If the bully sends text messages, report them to the bully’s service provider (search online for their phone number to find their service provider).
  8. If you’re threatened with physical harm, report to local police.
  9. Don’t pay for sextortion.

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