Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dealing with Cyberbullies

Cyber Security Tip ST06-005
Dealing with Cyberbullies

Bullies are now taking advantage of technology to intimidate and harass
their victims. Dealing with cyberbullying can be difficult, but there are
steps you can take.

What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying refers to the new, and growing, practice of using technology
to harass, or bully, someone else. Bullies used to be restricted to methods
such as physical intimidation, postal mail, or the telephone. Now,
developments in electronic media offer forums such as email, instant
messaging, web pages, and digital photos to add to the arsenal. Computers,
cell phones, and PDAs are new tools that can be applied to an old practice.

Forms of cyberbullying can range in severity from cruel or embarrassing
rumors to threats, harassment, or stalking. It can affect any age group;
however, teenagers and young adults are common victims, and cyberbullying is
a growing problem in schools.

Why has cyberbullying become such a problem?

The relative anonymity of the internet is appealing for bullies because it
enhances the intimidation and makes tracing the activity more difficult.
Some bullies also find it easier to be more vicious because there is no
personal contact. Unfortunately, the internet and email can also increase
the visibility of the activity. Information or pictures posted online or
forwarded in mass emails can reach a larger audience faster than more
traditional methods, causing more damage to the victims. And because of the
amount of personal information available online, bullies may be able to
arbitrarily choose their victims.

Cyberbullying may also indicate a tendency toward more serious behavior.
While bullying has always been an unfortunate reality, most bullies grow out
of it. Cyberbullying has not existed long enough to have solid research, but
there is evidence that it may be an early warning for more violent behavior.

How can you protect yourself?

* Be careful where you post personal information - By limiting the number
of people who have access to your contact information or details about
your interests, habits, or employment, you reduce your exposure to
bullies that you do not know. This may limit your risk of becoming a
victim and may make it easier to identify the bully if you are
* Avoid escalating the situation - Responding with hostility is likely to
provoke a bully and escalate the situation. Depending on the
circumstances, consider ignoring the issue. Often, bullies thrive on the
reaction of their victims. Other options include subtle actions. For
example, if you are receiving unwanted email messages, consider changing
your email address. If the bully does not have access to the new
address, the problem may stop. If you continue to get messages at your
new account, you may have a stronger case for legal action.
* Document the activity - Keep a record of any online activity (emails,
web pages, instant messages, etc.), including relevant dates and times.
In addition to archiving an electronic version, consider printing a
* Report cyberbullying to the appropriate authorities - If you are being
harassed or threatened, report the activity to the local authorities.
Law enforcement agencies have different policies, but your local police
department or FBI branch are good starting points. Unfortunately, there
is a distinction between free speech and punishable offenses, but the
legal implications should be decided by the law enforcement officials
and the prosecutors. Depending on the activity, it may also be
appropriate to report it to school officials who may have separate
policies for dealing with activity that involves students.

Protect your children by teaching them good online habits (see Keeping
Children Safe Online for more information). Keep lines of communication open
with your children so that they feel comfortable telling you if they are
being victimized online. Reduce their risk of becoming cyberbullies by
setting guidelines for and monitoring their use of the internet and other
electronic media (cell phones, PDAs, etc.).


Author: Mindi McDowell

Produced 2006 by US-CERT, a government organization.

Note: This tip was previously published and is being re-distributed
to increase awareness.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Power Point 2007 Practice

Power Point 2007 “Boot Camp”

Links for lessons and quick reference cards must be opened in Internet Explorer.

Printable links require Adobe Reader. Download for free at

Create Your First Presentation

Lesson 1
Practice Steps (printable)

Lesson 2
Practice Steps (printable)

Lesson 3
Practice Steps (printable)

Quick reference Card

Personalize Your Slide Design

Lesson 1
Practice Steps (printable)

Quick reference card

Get Visual with SmartArt Graphics

Lesson 1 (none)

Lesson 2
Practice Steps (printable)

Lesson 3
Practice Steps (printable)

Quick reference Card

Adding Sound Effects

Lesson 1
Practice Steps (printable)

Lesson 2
Practice Steps (printable)

Quick Reference Card