“I am a fighter and I ain’t goin’ stop
There is no turning back, I’ve had enough
Cause it makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
It makes me that much wiser, So thanks for making me a fighter.”
– Christina Aguilera
Bullying is so not cool, and can kill. Yet a recent U-report poll revealed that 3 in 10 young people in Malaysia say they have been a victim of cyberbullying, with 43% of them experiencing it through online games and private messaging apps including Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, YouTube and Twitter.
To help you keep safe and sane online, here are 10 tips to prevent yourself and/or your friends from becoming a victim of cyberbullying.
1Protect your accounts.
Never share your passwords with anyone – even with your BFF or your boyfriend / girlfriend, no matter how kam cheng or in love you are now. And don’t cincai with your password safety. Remember to always password-protect your phone so no one can use it to impersonate you.
2Use privacy settings.
Think about who sees what you post online. BFF? Friends? Friends of friends? Strangers? Privacy settings let you control who sees what, and can prevent cyberbullying. Make sure you turn it on and be in control.
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3Think before you share/post.
Be careful about what you share or say via social media or chat apps. You never know what someone will forward. And your post/message may be used for gossip to kena you.
4Don’t add to the nastiness.
Watching or forwarding mean messages only gives power to the bullies; and hurts victims even more. At the very least, help by not passing along a mean message and not cheering the bullying that is taking place –either online or offline.
5Save the evidence.
Evidence is very penting so that action can be taken. The only good news about cyberbullying is that you can screen-shot and save the nasty, mean and harassing messages to show someone who can help. You need to do this even if it’s minor stuff, just in case things get teruk and you need to make a report.
6Block the bully.
If the meanness is coming in the form of chat or instant messages, texts, or social media profile comments, do yourself a favor: block the bully. If it’s in chat, leave the “room.” Don’t stay and stress lah.
7Tell the bully to stop.
If you know the bully or if the bully is your friend, tell them to stop or let them know that their nastiness only makes them look like a bodoh with a hodoh heart. Make them understand that their bullying behavior is so not cool; and totally unacceptable.
8Report the nastiness.
9Start chapter baru.
If you’ve reached a high level of fedupness with all the meanness, you can also choose to deactivate your account and start fresh while taking better security measures; or delete the affected account(s) and stay offline (from that particular platform) for a couple of months.
If you’re threatened with physical harm, tell mom or dad so they can decide where to get help. You will need to share evidence (videos, image, conversations snapshots, etc.) of the harassment.
- Make a police report. Call 999
- Consult the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission Complaint Bureau through email (email@example.com), telephone (1800 188 030).
- Call the 24 hour Talian Kasih hotline 15999.
If you’re feeling confused, stressed, helpless and anxious, don’t bear it up alone. Seek help and find someone you trust to talk to. For emotional support, you can call the Befrienders KL at 03-7957 1306, 04-281 5161/1108 in Penang, 05-5477 933/955 in Ipoh or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Befrienders are multiracial, non-religious and are available to everyone, regardless of race, religion, age, gender or sexual orientation. You may remain completely anonymous, keeping your name private.
Remember – you don’t need to put up with being bullied, online or offline.
Pssst. If you have any other tips, please share in the comments below.