Anonymity and Cyber Bullying

Will more kids who bully online now use aliases, making it more difficult for schools to intervene on behalf of victims?

I just came across the 2014 Predictions from Symantec, and prediction No. 1 is, “People will finally begin to take steps to keep their information private.” Although this is a good thing in that it shows folks are finally waking up to their vulnerabilities online, there is also a downside, specifically as it relates to online anonymity with minors.

According to the article: “You’ll also see a resurgence of users adopting aliases and fake names on social networking sites to protect their privacy. And you know who is going to lead the way on this? Teens.”

Anonymity is a great way to protect the innocent. My only concern is, will it also protect cyber bullies? It’s hard enough for schools to discipline cyber bullies who use their real identities. Will the increased use of aliases make it even more challenging?

Granted, there are plenty of professional cyber criminals who are already using fake online identities. But according to this article, your garden-variety cyber bully could be getting more sophisticated as well.

It’s something to consider.

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About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray

Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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