Whether you or your child are a victim of cyberbullying, it can be a deeply difficult experience. Unfortunately, online bullying is becoming more common and even more challenging to combat. Luckily, there are ways to reduce and mitigate cyberbullying if you take the right measures. In this article, we’ll help you answer the question, “Can a VPN prevent cyberbullying?” We’ll also show you how a VPN can give you more privacy and protection online.
What is Cyberbullying?
The Mayo Clinic refers to cyberbullying as “a pattern of repeatedly sending or spreading threatening or mean messages, rumors or embarrassing photos by electronic methods.” Of course, there are a variety of ways that cyberbullies can carry out their attacks, but these are just the most common methods. As an adult, it may be easier for you to identify instances of cyberbullying. However, if you believe that your child is experiencing cyberbullying, it’s important to look for the signs.
Cyberbullying has taken on a new form on TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitter. Now, more than ever, it’s necessary for parents and guardians to educate their children on social media privacy. Keeping yourself safe on social media apps might seem counterintuitive to their nature, but allowing anyone to access your personal information can be risky. This is especially true when it comes to victims of cyberbullying, where bullies can use any platform and any piece of information in their attack.
Teasing and demeaning marks are just the tips of the iceberg when it comes to cyberbullying. If you are someone who has live broadcasts on your Twitch channel or YouTube, you may be familiar with “trolls.” These trolls are individuals, or groups of people, who enjoy making fun of others on the Internet. In some cases, trolls can launch even more serious attacks depending on their intention. If you believe that you, or your child, are dealing with cyberbullies, your next step is to learn how to deal with them.
How to Deal with Cyberbullies
Dealing with cyberbullies requires the help of outside influence. If your child is the victim of a cyberbullying campaign, you likely want to make the school administrator aware. You may even want to schedule an appointment with the school counselor or a third-party therapist. If the cyberbullying you or your child receive reaches a level where it becomes potentially dangerous, you should inform law enforcement.
It’s necessary to take care of your cyberbullying situation before it escalates into something more serious. There have been reports of cyberbullying that eventually led to cyberstalking which, inevitably, led to actual stalking. When the attacks are even more serious, like doxing, you may need to involve the authorities or even lawyers. Taking care of these situations before it becomes worse is the best course of action for those who have been targets of cyberbullying.
If you are being bullied on a particular platform or website, report any cyberbullying messages, comments, or pages immediately to the website administrator or moderator. You can also take screenshots of these attacks as proof for further reporting if they choose to attempt it again. Ultimately, your biggest priority should be to reduce the amount of damage that these individuals might do. Depending on their attack, cyberbullies can attempt to humiliate and harass their targets in many different ways. One way of protecting yourself against these attacks is to lock your social media accounts, increase your Internet privacy settings, and use a reliable VPN.
What is a VPN?
VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are a variety of software that hides your virtual location by encrypting the IP address on your device. The software application masks your online activity by redirecting your IP address through a secure server in another location. Devices with an Internet connection have unique IP addresses that sync all online activity to that hardware. Protection from a VPN makes it harder for attackers to uncover personal data from your device or network.
Virtual Private Networks allow you to strengthen your Internet privacy through a process known as “encryption.” The encryption process “scrambles” your data, making it difficult for others to access your personal information. Once it reaches its destination, your data unscrambles itself so that the recipient can read and access it.
Can a VPN Prevent Cyberbullying?
While there is ultimately no true way to prevent cyberbullying completely, there are ways that a VPN can help. Depending on the type of bullying, using a VPN can be a useful tool in keeping yourself safe from attacks. With a VPN, your IP address and personal information are safe from prying eyes. This means that attackers can’t go after your location data or use your online activity information against you.
With a VPN on your side, you get additional privacy and more peace of mind while on the Internet. After locking your social profiles, reporting the attacks, and stepping away from the computer, you can begin to move on from your cyberbullying incident. Keeping a VPN on your devices can help you prevent similar circumstances from occurring in the future.
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