Cyber-bullying can take many forms. The results can be damaging to your reputation and extremely stressful. In some cases, it can be life-threatening with teenagers being so affected that they take their own lives.
Unfortunately, in South Africa, law enforcement is not adequately trained or equipped in fighting cyber crime. If you went to a police station and tried to report a case of cyber crime or cyber bullying 9 out of 10 times they would not know how to proceed.
As a society we have to fight back against these cowardly crimes, naming and shaming these perpetrators online is just not good enough.
Many people think that they are safe behind a fake social media profile or an anonymous free email address such as Yahoo Mail, Gmail etc, well I am here to tell you they are not. Unless they are professional hackers, and the majority are not, these cowards can be tracked right back to the computer they are using.
Everything you do online leaves the electronic equivalent of a paper trail and if you have the right digital forensic tools and knowledge, you can follow that trail to its source. It is a long drawn out process but it is possible.
Some common forms of cyber-bullying include:
Slanderous and defamatory “anonymous” emails being sent with the aim of destroying your reputation.
Harassment via social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Libelous content online via the use of websites with the aim of defaming your character.
Use of your personal status updates to stalk, harass, blackmail, or otherwise disturb you.
Cyber-bullying has the potential to escalate just as quickly as face to face bullying. And as in face to face bullying, it is just as important to put a stop to cyber-bullying. Someone who spends time ‘stalking’ you via your various internet profiles may ultimately decide to stalk you in person, and someone who is attempting to blackmail or extort you online may decide to publish damaging photos, videos or information about you, even if you already paid them.
What can Rick Crouch & Associates do for you in a case of cyber-bullying? We can assist with the following:
We can identify the cyber-bully if their identity is unknown
We can obtain evidence proving that bullying, harassing, or other inappropriate Internet behaviors have occurred.
We can assist in reporting the illegal actions to authorities
We can assist the authorities in how to proceed with the investigation
We can provide the authorities with the evidence they need to ensure a successful prosecution.