Saturday, November 05, 2022


Cyberbullying, also known as electronic bullying or online social cruelty, is the intentional use of digital devices like smartphones, laptops, and tablets to harm another person. People can see, engage in, or share material by SMS, Text, applications, or online in social media, forums, or games. Basically, it refers to the act of transmitting, uploading or disseminating hurtful, erroneous, or nasty material about another person. Some of these behaviors may border on being illegal or criminal. According to one of the sources, the following locations saw the most cyberbullying:

  • Social Media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter
  • SMS (Short Message Service) also known as Text Messages sent through devices
  • Instant Message (via devices, email provider services, apps, and social media messaging features)
  • Email etc.


Cyberbullying can affect people of any age, although young adults have been identified as the most frequent victims. Where he uses technology to his advantage, the offenders are frequently unknown, allowing him to hide. The offender may be acting out of pure levity or for any other reason, such as egotism or slander. The most often committed crimes in relation to cyberbullying are impersonation, harassment, and flaming. Flaming is an example of online fighting where vulgar language is used, whereas harassment often involves the perpetrator sending the victim abusive, insulting, rude, and obscene messages.

How does Cyberbullying affect an individual?

An online bully victim could experience despair, anxiety, rage, shame, low self-esteem, subpar academic results, trust difficulties, etc. In any of these situations, it is more important for friends, parents, or guardians to assist the victim through social and psychological counseling. One can also engage in correct legal action with sufficient proof. Whatever the cause of cyberbullying, there are ways to combat it and, in many circumstances, avoid it.

What to do with bullying messages?

1. Examine the Message: Instead of freaking out, attempt to examine the bullying message you have got since, according to forensic analysis, each word or image has information that has shown how the message came to be on your computer. Look for those specific words, phrases, or usage of language. It could occasionally help you identify the perpetrator.

2. Don't reply or delete the message (or email), as the cyber forensic expert may need it in its entirety in the future. Additionally, avoid sending it to anybody else to spare yourself any extra emotional stress. Even if the communications are frequently anonymous, they may still be tracked out since the company that runs the website will store records and information about them. This information is not accessible to you or your parents, but it is available to the police as and when required.

3. Keeping the proof: If you receive offensive comments via instant message, print them out so you have the proof. As a general guideline, when reporting online bullying, copy the terms and conditions that have been violated and snap a picture of the offending comment or image as proof.

4. There is still work to be done: Block any contact with online bullies. Never distribute any remarks or messages that entail cyberbullying. Learn about the preventative measures and reporting of online bullying.

Preventive Measures:

1. A parent's responsibility is to ensure their children read privacy rules before giving them any personal information. Before providing any information, it is a good idea to make sure the website has a secure connection. 

2. Be aware of what's happening: Keep an eye out for any friends, classmates, or other people who are connected to you acting strangely. Every encounter leaves evidence, according to Locard's principle of exchange in forensic science, thus there will undoubtedly be some characteristics that the investigators check for frequently. 

3. Maintain an internet activity log: Your gadgets and most social networking sites have auto log recording summaries installed. You can, however, exercise caution if you see any routine activity or log into your account at any moment.

4. Adhere to the following internet safety advice: Unless absolutely necessary, never reveal your true identity to a stranger. Never provide sensitive information online to a stranger or someone you are just conversing with. Never meet someone you met in a chatroom alone; always go with a buddy, your parents, or another adult. They will be delighted to accomplish this if they are indeed who they claim to be. If someone makes offensive comments to you online or otherwise makes you feel uncomfortable, talk to a close friend or family member about it.

5. Recognize the warning indicators There are some indications that might be received from the individual on the other side of the computer screen. None of these might be 

If the individual insists that you reveal personal information such as your address or phone number, you should refuse. 

If the sender of an email or text message makes you feel uneasy 

If the guy assures you that he will keep your conversations private and not disclose them to anyone else, you may trust him. 

If the individual requests that you email or give them images of yourself or use a webcam in a manner that makes you feel uneasy, you should decline. 

If the individual discloses information with you and requests that you keep it confidential, you must keep the information to yourself. 

If the individual wants to meet you and asks you not to tell anybody, you should comply. 

If you observe any of these warning signals, it is imperative that you inform your parents or another responsible adult.

6. Machine learning can aid in the fight against online abusers: Today's offenders will not request data since they already know they can web scrape it from public social media postings in the amount they want. Therefore, our overarching objective should be to employ artificial intelligence at a certain level (device knowledge, app knowledge, etc.) to avoid cyber victimization. In such cases, we should attempt to identify and block, ban, or quarantine problematic users and accounts, or we should immediately delete (inactivate) content that algorithms predictably flag and label as abusive, or otherwise restrict the posting, sharing, or sending of messages that violate acceptable online conduct standards.


Dr. Bhoopesh Kumar Sharma, Forensic Expert and Professor,

Department of Forensic Sciences, SGT University Gurugram, India.