Cyberbullying includes intentional and repeated negative online acts such as identity theft, distribution of personal information without consent, offensive messages, hate speech, threats, gossip, etc.
Since the advent of social media, this phenomenon has become increasingly common. Statistics on teenagers are the most alarming, but adults are also targeted by cyber bullies. Criminals try to intimidate people through emails, messages or social networks. Whatever the age of the victim, the cybercriminal has material to harass them: information, images, videos.
Cyberbullying is a crime.
How should you respond if you fall victim to cyberbullying?
- Block the person harassing you on social media, on email or on the phone.
- Talk about it with others: friends, family, your doctor, your psychologist, etc.
- Call 1712 (http://www.1712.be/). A professional advisor will listen to what is happening, give you information and advice, and work with you to find the best possible solution. If you can't call, you can also chat online.
- Contact the police on 101. As a victim, you can always contact the police to report this type of crime. You can be assisted by a support person. The police will then draw up an official report.
- Never answer a question or request from a bully.
- Do not start a conversation with a bully, and never negotiate with them either. Doing so does not stop the harassment; quite the contrary, in fact.
- Save the offending messages you receive: save the emails on your hard drive, take screenshots or paste them into a Word document and print them out.
What should you do if someone has access to your accounts?
- Change your passwords (https://www.safeonweb.be/index.php/en/use-long-passwords) and activate two-step verification (2FA: https://www.safeonweb.be/index.php/en/use-two-factor-authentication).
- Change your WiFi password.
- If you think someone is eavesdropping on you via your smartphone, read our article: My phone is bugged https://www.safeonweb.be/en/my-device-being-bugged
How can you get legal assistance?
Victim Support Service (https://justice.belgium.be/en/themes_and_files/what_to_do_as/victims/reception_of_victims)
If you need a lawyer, consult https://www.advocaat.be/