The influence of cyber-bullying among adolescents in contemporary Chinese high school

The increased accessibility of the internet to various users across the world have enhanced the cases of cyber-bullying reported in different countries. The issue is more critical among the adolescents who are high users of the internet. The  current study analyses the issue of cyber-bullying as reported among high school students in China, as well as the strategies that can be adopted to address the menace.

Cyber safety refers to the responsible and appropriate use of online media platforms.  It entails keeping one’s personal data safe, upholding respect for other users, and adhering to the acceptable internet use policies (Whyte, 2015). The internet and various social media platforms provide an opportunity for inappropriate behavior, harassment and bullying to occur. A number of cyber safety issues experienced today are related to bullying, identity safety, piracy, plagiarism and failure to adhere with the acceptable internet use policies. Faking identity, harassing other users, engaging in abusive and threatening chats and sending inappropriate videos and photos cannot not only lead to dismissal from school but is also punishable by law, as such, it is important that students decease from such actions (Geer, 2015). The current presentation will discuss a number of cyber security issues and acceptable use policies to enable the students understand how to engage in the internet responsibly. The presentation will focus on acceptable internet use policies, cyber bullying, identify safety, plagiarism, piracy, and cyber predators.

The acceptable internet policies details how users of the internet are expected to behave when engaging in any form of discussions over the internet. The policies are in most cases designed independently by every institution. Students are required to adhere to the policy of their school in every instance when they use the publicly availed computer systems by the school. The general principle for acceptable use of internet for High schools is that internet access is intended for educational purposes. As such, students should only use the internet to obtain information capable of aiding their learning process (Geer, 2015). Students must respect the right of other users of the internet as well as the integrity of the system. In addition, the students are expected to observe all the media laws and regulations guiding the communication process over electronic media as set by the country (Owen, 2016)

Failure to adhere the acceptable internet use policies can lead to dismissal from school. In adverse cases, one can be disqualified from the use of any social media platform or any other means of communication over the internet. If the action goes contrary to the laws of the nation, then adverse cases can lead to prosecution. It is therefore important that students have a proper understanding of the principles that guide the acceptable use of the internet as set by their school and as required by the communications authority.

Social medial platforms (Facebook, Twitter) to socially or verbally harass another person. Cyber bullying can also occur when one uses the technology to harm, threaten or abuse an individual. According to Modecki, Minchin, Harbaugh, Guerra & Runions (2014) cyber bullying is likely to instill psychological or emotional trauma on the affected victim thus considered illegal and punishable by law.

What happens when you engage in cyber bullying?

Any incident of cyber bullying initiated by a student can result in potential school disciplinary action including suspension or complete exclusion from the school.  It also leads to loss of access to the internet and various electronic devices. In case the cyber bullying involved a minor or caused physical harm to an individual, then it can lead to the prosecution of the executor (Bonanno & Hymel, 2013).

How to stop cyber bullying

Do not engage in a conversation when you are angry

Always adhere to the principles of acceptable use of the internet and various technologies

Only join groups that are suitable for your age bracket

Download images and videos from trusted sites only

Do not exchange passwords or personal information with strangers

Dealing with cyber bullying

In certain cases, you become the victim of cyber bullying and not the perpetrator per se. In this case there are a number of approaches that you can take to deal with cyber bullying

Do not reply messages from bullies

Block the person do that they cannot contact you

Always consider the use of the cyber safety help button (It will give you information on how to deal with online threats)

Talk to a lawyer when the bullying persist

Cyber Predation

Cyber predators use the internet as a place to hunt for individual to take advantage of. This can be emotionally, sexually, financial or psychologically. Most cyber predators aim at manipulating young children and adolescents. In fact their target group mostly include student between the ages of 11-15 years.

Sexual predators are a real threat to students. They use their anonymity of the internet to look for students that are emotionally vulnerable and empathize with them in a bid of building a pseudo friendship. After communication for some time, the targeted student will develop trust and be willing to share any information with the predator.  Cases have been observed of the predator asking for personal data and private information of either the student of his/her parents.  In most cases they ask for home address or credit card passwords and use the vital information to steal from the student and the family.

In certain instances, the predator may engage the student in sex chat, by convincing him to send pornographic pictures through chats or emails. The predator later on uses the information share to threaten or harass the student if they attempt to withdraw from the relationship. The affected student will therefore continue with the relationship that is likely to escalate to another level if the predator manages to get additional private information. Whyte (2015) has reported that the online predators will always demand for money to keep the vital information disclosed by the student.  Being a victim of internet predators is very disturbing since it causes stress, worries, desperation and withdrawal from normal activities (Owen, 2016). Students should therefore take precautions when engaging with strangers in any internet communication platform, look out for all the stereotype of an odd behaviors and a dangerous person, never avail your personal information or that of your family to any persons, especially over the internet.