It's an unfortunate part of modern life that you may run into somebody on the internet who decides to make your life miserable. This could be somebody you've never met, or it could be a person you know in real life taking their bullying online. Either way, you don't have to stand for it; you can stop online harassment.
How To Prevent Online Harassment
The key is proportional response. First and foremost, if you are being threatened with violence or otherwise feel your safety is at risk, don't hesitate to contact the police. Even if the person was not sincere, it won't hurt them to learn a lesson about threatening people, which can end online harassment for good. Secondly, in all cases, preserve records of any communications this person sends to you or posts about you. Being able to produce this documentation often puts would-be bullies in a tight spot and reduces online harrassment.
Honestly, however, most people attempting to bully you want a reaction; they want you to be upset. First and foremost, don't waste your time replying to personal insults or other attempts to bait you on social media. Do take the time to capture an image of the comments and save them, but beyond that, don't react. Just like in elementary school, ignoring the majority of bullies tends to make them go away. They'll move on to someone else.
If they don't stop, take the simple move of blocking them. Blocking often ends online harassment quite effectively. Most social media websites allow you to filter out people to the point where you won't even see their comments on other statuses. If it's over email, it's a simple matter to redirect their messages to a folder on most email programs, so you can save them without having to look at them.
What If The Harassment Doesn't Stop?
However, what if the harassment continues, or it switches from social media to another channel, such as email? Or what if they switch from trying to get a reaction from you personally to attempting to defame your good name, to give you a bad reputation online? Then you need to consider stronger measures to defend against online harassment.
If they're attempting to defame your reputation on other websites, then you'll need to address that with the site directly. Always get a record of the offending material before contacting the website. Follow up by politely explaining the situation, that you're looking to end this online harassment and request that the information may be removed. Be aware that there may not be a legal obligation for the site to remove the content, and the owner may refuse to do so.
You may also consider contacting the police if the harassment is intense and over multiple channels, and discussing legal options. However, your legal options can vary widely from state to state and there may be little police and courts can do depending on the situation. Stopping online harassment will be more up to you.
If you're sick of slander and bullying blog posts being tied to your name, consider bringing in Reputation.com. Our patented technology is designed to put positive search results about you at the top of any search, and research shows that few people looking you up will look past the first few search results.
As we said, the key to defeating online harassment is ignoring their behavior. With Reputation.com, that'll be easier for you, and just about everyone else. Click to learn more.