Short for electronic mail, the transmission of messages over communications networks. The messages can be notes entered from the keyboard or electronic files stored on disk. Most mainframes, minicomputers, and computer networks have an e-mail system. Some electronic-mail systems are confined to a single computer system or network, but others have gateways to other computer systems, enabling users to send electronic mail anywhere in the world. (Webopedia: http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/e/e_mail.html )
Cyberbullies can and do use e-mail to send harassing and threatening messages to the targets of their hatred and loathing. Those who are bullied often ask themselves "What have I done to deserve this?" and the usual answer is that they have not done anything to deserve such awful messages.
It is often possible to trace which e-mail account the message was sent from, however, it is almost impossible to prove who actually used this e-mail account to send the offending messages. Messages sent from accounts with local/regional Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can be more easily traced and acted upon than messages sent from large Web-based e-mail accounts such as Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail etc.
Most e-mail programs allow you to use e-mail filters that will block or automatically delete messages from undesirable senders. This does work to a limited degree, but as most e-mail users now know, it is almost impossible to stop unwanted e-mail messages such as advertisements, SPAM etc.
Instant Messaging (IM):
A type of communications service that enables you to create a private chat room with another individual. Typically, the instant messaging system alerts you whenever somebody on your private list is online. You can then initiate a chat session with that particular individual. There are several competing instant messaging systems such as ICQ, AOL Messenger, MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger etc.. Unfortunately, there's no standard, so anyone you want to send instant messages to must use the same instant messaging system that you use. (Webopedia: http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/i/instant_messaging.html ).
Cyberbullies can and do use IM to send harassing and threatening messages to the targets of their hatred and loathing. IM has become a very large part of the social lives of our young people. The relationships they form with others in school and in other facets of their lives are extended and maintained through IM-ing. The conversations and conflicts that arise online often give rise to behaviours that are acted out in person during school or at the local shopping mall.
Sit with your child when they are signing up for an IM account. If you are not careful, you can give others a great deal of access to your personal contact information.
Users of IM should create a buddy list of only people you know and trust well. Most IM programs allow users to create a list of others that users may wish to "block" from sending them messages or contacting them for the purposes of chatting in real time (while the users are both online together at the same time).
Chat Rooms / Bash Boards:
Real-time communication between two users via computer. Once a chat has been initiated, either user can enter text by typing on the keyboard and the entered text will appear on the other user's monitor. Most networks and online services offer a chat feature. (Webopedia: http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/c/chat.html ).
The "bash board" is the nickname for an online bulletin board, or virtual chat room, where teenagers can go to anonymously and write anything they want, true or false, creating or adding mean-spirited postings for the world to see.
People are not always who they appear to be or who they say they are in chat rooms. Chat rooms can be places where some strangers may try to "befriend" others, especially young people. They may attempt to lure them into meeting in person. Young people should NEVER arrange to meet someone in person whom they have been in contact with online.
Young kids shouldn't be in chat room unless a trusted and responsible parent or guardian is sitting with them at the computer. Older kids should be only in moderated chat rooms and even moderated chat rooms can lead to compromising, embarrassing and harassing situations. Kids shouldn't exchange e-mail with someone from a chat room or arrange to meet someone from a chat room without a parent or guardian present.
Small Text-Messages (SMS):
Short for Short Message Service Similar to paging, SMS is a service for sending short text messages to mobile phones. (Webopedia: http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/S/SMS.html ).
SMS: The Short Message Service (SMS) is the ability to send and receive text messages to and from mobile telephones. The text can comprise of words or numbers or an alphanumeric combination. SMS was created when it was incorporated into the Global System for Mobiles (GSM) digital mobile phone standard. A single short message can be up to 160 characters of text in length using default GSM alphabet coding, and 70 characters when UCS2 international character coding is used.
EMS: -Enhanced Messaging Service (text messaging with more bells and whistles)
MMS -Multimedia Messaging Service, (MMS) is the ability to send messages comprising a combination of text, sounds, images and video to MMS capable handsets.
PDAs: PDAs stand for Personal Digital Assistants. You might recognize these better if we used names like Palm Pilot, RIM Blackberry, Handspring Visor / Treo, Sony Clie, iPaq, Pocket PC etc. Most of these are not only personal information organizers, they can now connect to the Internet, receive and send e-mail and browse the World Wide Web.
A site (location) on the World Wide Web. Each Web site contains a home page, which is the first document users see when they enter the site. The site might also contain additional documents and files. Each site is owned and managed by an individual, company or organization. (Webopedia: http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/w/web_site.html ).
Unfortunately, some ISPs are not as responsible, and you may have GREAT difficulty in not only finding their AUP or abuse reporting options, but even in getting them to acknowledge your concerns, let alone having the defamatory Web site taken down. Equally unfortunately, some ISPs may not respond or take action unless you tell them that you are contacting the police, the media and/or a lawyer.
Defamatory Web sites posted on large Web hosts such as Yahoo! / Geocities, Tripod, Homestead etc. may be even harder to get the attention of, let alone see action from, so this is why www.cyberbullying.ca believes that the most effective efforts that can be made with respect to the issue of cyberbullying is based upon PREVENTION.
Voting / Polling Booths:
Some Web sites such as www.freevote.com, offer users the opportunity to create online polling/voting booths. Cyberbullies can use these Web sites to create Web pages that allow others to vote online for "The Ugliest , Fattest, Dumbest etc. Boy/Girl at ***** School". While such Web sites may state that they do not condone the use of their Web sites for such purposes, and we do commend them for having clear abuse policies ( http://www.freevote.com/policy.bml ) and a clear abuse reporting system ( http://www.freevote.com/abuse.bml ), the reality is that most of these pages are not regulated by the Web site creators. They supposed to be overseen by the volunteer "maintainers" who are supposed to be the quality-control gatekeepers, but most of these positions are listed as "abandoned".
There are many emerging communication technologies such as Wi-Fi, SPOT, ThreeDegrees etc. that are making it easier to be connected to the Internet, and therefore one another anywhere, anytime. We are a "wired" society. We are becoming an increasingly "wired" society. This offers many exciting, amazing possibilities to create, connect and learn from and with one another. Some fabulous examples of this potential can be seen on such Web sites such as iEARN, Childnet International, The Global Junior Challenge, The Stockholm Challenge etc. but human nature being what it is, there will be times when a small minority of people will exploit this same potential to threaten and cyber-bully others. That's why www.cyberbullying.ca exists, to educate and inform people about the issue of cyberbullying, define what it is, what forms it takes, offer information about its prevention and some strategies/actions that can be employed if it happens to you or someone you know.