Cyber Harassment Definition
Cyber harassment is when Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is used to harass, control, manipulate or defame a child, adult, business or group without a direct or implied threat of physical harm. Unlike physical harassment requiring face-to-face contact, cyber harassment needs the use of ICT and is verbal, sexual, emotional or social abuse of a person, group or organization. The cyber troll’s main goal is to get power and control over the victim(s).
Anyone can be a victim of internet harassment, irrespective of their age or gender. In fact, more than one third of Americans experience online harassment and want to see laws changed.
Forms of Cyber Harassment
To clarify how broad online harassment is I will elaborate about some of Rexxfield’s cases. I receive cyber harassment cases all the time, from teenager online sexual harassment to corporate defamation. The calls I receive are very diverse. Some are relatively easy cases but emotionally devastating because it involves teenaged victims dealing with online sexual harassment. Other calls originate from successful people in multinational corporations. A significant amount of calls I get come from frustrated law-enforcement officials who are investigating serious crimes. I and my team helped with law enforcement investigations with different types of cases such as rape and robberies. But we also assisted police officers who received death threats and are living in fear despite their station in life.
The number of cyber harassment and online sexual harassment cases grow every day because of the increasing power of the internet and in particular Google. I believe anonymous free speech is a wonderful privilege and should be preserved. Many horrid issues have been avoided or solved because of the ability and permission to communicate anonymously. Think of situations like whistleblowing of white-collar crimes or community awareness of pedophiles moving into the neighborhood.
However, anonymity is subject to abuse. Unfortunately, “free speech” always comes at a cost – not always a positive cost. Because of the ability to publish anything you want anonymously, many false rumors and libelous attacks are destroying people’s lives. Motivated by hate and vindictive anti-social promoting, these serial cyber trolls are out to hurt people and are fuelled by the victim’s pain. Normal people can’t even imagine how these people think, however, they are out there, spreading their description on the internet. Public, for everyone to see.
How to Deal with Cyber Harassment
Whether it’s cyber harassment or online sexual harassment involving teenagers, the main intention of the cyber troll is to get a reaction from the victim. An internet troll takes sadistic pleasure out of harassing their victim. The best way to counteract internet trolls is by not giving them what they want. Try not to react at all. I understand that it’s easier said than done but in many cases, it is better to avoid the confrontation – especially if you are concocting a legal strategy behind the scenes. But keep in mind that in any case – whether you confront or stay quiet – if it is eating you up, I advice to seek help.
When it comes to online harassment, the victim has a significant advantage. With cyber harassment, the victim has the option of saving evidence such as screenshots of threatening messages on phones and computers. Regular harassment victims don’t have this option which makes providing proof so much harder. So save everything you can to use as proof when needed.
Cyber harassment often is done through social media channels or texting. In this case, block the cyber troll from your account. It reduces direct communication, impact, and harassment to a great extent.
Identify and report cyber trolls
Even if your cyber troll is a tech-savvy hacker who hides behind proxies, there are ways to identify the person. When you identified your antagonist efficiently, you can take him or her to court. Through online investigation services – such as our identifying anonymous antagonists service – you have proof to present in court to get the harassment to stop and a court-ordered takedown of the defaming content.
Remove damaging content from Google
If you don’t have the financial resources to hire professionals to identify your bully, you can ask Google to take the defaming results down. I recommend this route if you are a resident of a common law country. Our page1.me team has a high success rate for clients from common law countries, by asking Google to remove the defaming material from the search results.
Reduce damage by suppressing harmful content
If the above options don’t work out, suppression may be something you want to pursue. This does not remove the material but significantly reduces the impact by hiding it from other people. In some cases, this strategy could be the best and cheapest before anything else. For example, if your attacker has stopped the harassment, you don’t want to wake the beast. However, if you are being attacked online and you know your cyber troll won’t stop, litigation might be the only way to go.
What can be done to Prevent Harassment while Online
Always secure your phone with a password and never share the password of your phone or social media account with anyone. Not your best friend, or your spouse. Many of our cases involve online slandering by an ex-partner after a messy breakup. If you share your login details, that person can impersonate you and create nasty surprises by visiting your email or social media accounts.
If you want a consultation to discuss your case and determine the best strategy to pursue, fill in this form and I will be in touch soon.