Having trouble with dealing with cyberbullying? Don’t know who can help you out? We will help answer these questions for you.
An everyday Joe or a celebrity; a kid, teenager or even a grown-up; a man or a woman; nobody is completely safe from cyberbullying. It is a menace in the most real sense, and unfortunately, it is also one of those topics that are rarely discussed in Pakistan. Whether it’s the traditional way of physically bullying or harassing someone at school, work, or play, cyberbullying, too, destroys the victim’s confidence, self-esteem, and self-image for the rest of their lives.
It seems like the wave of technology took us a little by surprise, leaving us with not enough room to update the existing laws and introduce reforms and regulations aimed at stopping cyberstalking, cyberbullying, and other forms of harassment on the internet. Luckily, we do have some regulations focused solely on cybercrimes to come to our aid. Another dangerous thing about cyberbullying in Pakistan is the overall lack of awareness regarding this sensitive and potentially life-threatening issue.
Effective Strategies For Dealing With Cyberbullying
Since cyberbullying is something not to be taken lightly, we have compiled the best possible ways to help you tackle this evil in an organized manner.
Check out the following cyberbullying prevention tips:
A lot is being done on a global level to combat this digital atrocity, and we now need to step up to help the victims by erecting adequate laws and punishing the culprits. Also, most victims choose to remain quiet due to various uncalled-for social and cultural pressures, and also because they don’t know how to go about it legally, which further empowers and encourages bullies.
We need to raise awareness because most people are still absolutely unaware of cyberbullying, let alone knowing or helping some being bullied. Questions such as what legal actions to take while dealing with online harassment, and how to prevent it from happening again mostly remain unanswered. It is vital to keep the lines of communication with your children or loved ones open. It might be hard for anyone to open up about being bullied, especially cyberbullying since there’s more mental torture involved than physical intimidation.
- Always Remain Updated
The worst thing about cyberbullying/online harassment is that it isn’t confined to one online account or website. Any line of digital communication can be used to bully someone, so remain updated on the channels of communication used most by your children, loved ones, or friends. Keep an eye on their followers and friends, and go through the comments they are receiving on their posts.
- Know How to React
Your reaction matters the most. It is not your child’s fault if they are getting cyberbullied. Bullies don’t particularly need a reason to torment someone; they’ll invent one or more themselves. If your child is opening up about their experience of cyberbullying, it means they’re looking up to you for a solution. Closing down social media accounts won’t help much.
- Spread Awareness
If you or someone close to you has been a victim of cyberbullying, then help them spread the word. Ask them to share their experience and how they fought the situation. Share practical tips and examples to help others deal better with the situation.
We have listed down names of the legal departments that can help you deal with cyberbullies and cyberbullying in Pakistan. Also, the following are some steps you might want to take to protect yourself against cyberbullies better.
- Save the Evidence
Granted, recording online harassment can be tricky, however, no matter how bad it is, you have to save the evidence. You can take screenshots, record calls, and forward these to a trustworthy person. Immediate action can be taken if these screenshots contain death threats or malicious intent to hurt or harm you.
- Don’t Respond
A common mistake usually committed during the heat of the moment is responding to bullies and their threats. Doing so lets the bullies know that they have your attention, and that feeds their ego. Ignoring bullies is the best practice. Engaging with them will only waste your time and efforts.
- Report Them
Not responding doesn’t mean you should back down in any way. Report them to the relevant authority. As for reporting them, you have to know how and what kind of cyberbully you are dealing with and how serious the situation is? Your immediate action should be to block them, but if someone is threatening you or giving out your personal information or making you fear for your safety, then you should report them to these departments.
Departments that can help you with Cyberbullying in Pakistan
FIA (Federal Investigation Agency)
FIA deals with cybercrimes on a state level. All you have to do is fill out an application form
on their website, categorize the type of cybercrime you are dealing with, and provide as much evidence as you can. That’s it. They will respond to your complaint within a week, if not immediately.
Madadgaar National Helpline
From counselling to legal advice to rehabilitation and reintegration, Madadgaar National Helpline was established by LHRLA in 2001 to help women and children overcome abuse. Supported by SDC, UNICEF, and Plan International Pakistan, Madadgaar National Helpline has received over 90 thousand crisis calls and walk-in cases of people in distress.
Looking for protection from cyberbullying? Precaution is better than care, and here too, these simple preventive steps can not only help you identify cybercrimes but also deal with them in a better, more informed way.
If you have dealt with a cyberbully, chances are they will try to get back at you, and they will be more severe this time. So, don’t leave any open slots for them. Revisit your account’s privacy settings on all the social media websites and don’t allow any stranger to get any sort of info or inside information on you.
Classes about dealing with cyberbullying and online predatory behaviour in schools can also help. Also, parents can play their part to overcome cyberbullying by restricting screen time for their children.
Sharing is Caring, but Not Your Information
While there is nothing wrong to post what you ate for breakfast, where, and with whom, there is something called oversharing and being careless about what information you share online. If a cyberbully chooses to remain faceless or nameless while being in your friends’ list, then they can easily use the information shared by you against you.
We hope that you found this blog helpful. Please share it with your friends and family and help us raise awareness.
While the World Wide Web can be a menace for some, it’s equally important to remember how technology, especially the internet, will change future living in a million ways. For similar updates on technology, stay connected to Zameen, one of the finest lifestyle blogs in Pakistan.