A new survey on cyberbullying reports that about one third
of teens have been victims of cyberbullying tactics such as receiving threatening
messages, having private text messages or e-mails forwarded without consent or
having rumors about them spread online.
The survey also found that girls are more likely than boys
to be targets. In addition, teens who share their identities and thoughts online, such
as on a blog, social networking site, or message boards, are more likely to be
targets than are those who lead less active online lives.
Despite the reports, nearly two thirds of the teens reported
that most bullying still occurs offline, in “classic” bullying locations such
as schoolyards, locker rooms and lunch tables.
While disappointing to see that cyberbullying is prevalent, the results of the
study show that teens do have some control over their exposure to risk. Making
efforts to reduce personal written communications with adversaries and
conservative participation on sites such as MySpace and Facebook will provide
some protections to teens. Just as in other spheres of life simple precautions
can help lead to reduced exposure to personal privacy and security risks.