Dealing with Online Harassment
I was watching Back to the Future II with a little person in my life and thought how funny it was that every time McFly was called a chicken he would accept the challenge and throw up his dukes. Maybe it’s funny to me because I’m kind of like McFly. When someone tosses out an insult or a challenge or baits me, my teeth come out and I’m ready for battle. I can’t help myself; I’m half Italian American and half German shepherd (and I’m not sure which half is worse). Constructive feedback is one thing, but insults and attacking me is another.
I think most people at some level have a hard time with being mocked or personally castigated online or on the ground. My mom used to say if you ignore them they will eventually go away. There is truth to that but it is easier said than done. Today’s advice might be to R.I.D yourself of the perp. That’s Report-Ignore-Delete.
Social networks are a minefield of messy comments and accusations that can invade your personal security. Anyone can set up a profile of someone else or post photos and videos or say awful things. The best thing you can do is simply manage things said about you.
To report someone on Facebook go to their profile and seek out in the bottom left corner “Report/Block this person” and you can remove them too. All sites allow you to remove those you are connected to.
Any Groups or pages that are designed with harassment in mind can be reported.
You can’t stop someone from posting a photo of you but you can remove any tags associated with photos on Facebook. If you see pictures that are harmful report them.
Most sites allow you to delete stuff on your feed or at least control who/what can be posted.
Most sites allow you to restrict access to your profile using various privacy settings
In email if you receive harassing messages most email providers allow blocking senders in the options menus. Otherwise create filters and automatically delete them. There is no need to engage in hate. Ignoring them by never seeing them is best.
You can also block text messages from unwanted callers. Why even give them the time of day. Ignore them and visit your carrier for instructions.
Monitor your children’s online profiles. Friend them to keep tabs. There are numerous programs that allow you to get snapshots of your kids social media activity. If you decide to install them have a conversation with your kids so they know why.
If any threats are ever made or harassment is taken to a level that deems a call to law enforcement, don’t hesitate to make the call.
Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing home security and identity theft on TBS Movie and a Makeover. Disclosures.