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Crime Prevention: Cyber Crimes

Submitted by Hillary Perkins on October 2, 2013 – 10:46 amNo Comment

Illustration by Hunter Spence

Cyber bullying is a type of cyber crime, and can include anything from harassment and making threats to gossiping online about someone online about another person. The idea of cyber bullying mirrors to the idea of being bullied offline.

According to the legal act that established the crime of bullying, a person commits the offense of cyber bullying if he or she sends a message electronically to abuse or intimidate someone else, and if this crime has been very severe and done repeatedly.

Tonya Soule, a DPS detective, explained  why people are being bullied over the Internet. “Most people choose cyber bullying because not only can it be done anonymously, but it can be spread through social media faster than word of mouth,” Soule said.

The purpose of cyber bullying is to take revenge on a person.

Here are some guidelines about what to consider when a victim of cyber bullying makes a complaint:

1) Find out where and how the incident started.

2) Ask yourself whether or not the case is considered harassment. The victim can report spam as evidence for harassment.

3) Ask if the victim has told the harasser to stop. If not, tell him or her to do so. If the victim has not contacted the harasser, that is another piece of evidence to harassment.

4) A detailed story of an incident can be useful. Make sure the victim has saved every message.

When a student has a problem with cyber bullying, there are also people on campus to talk to like the dean of students, the department of public safety or a professor. If the bully happens to be in the same residence hall, it is a good idea to notify a resident assistant.

To overcome being the victim of cybercrime, students can also seek counseling.

“Social media network keep records of communication and screen shoot it,” said Richard Harper, assistant dean of students. IP addresses can be used to trace evidence of cyber bullying.

The cybercrime policy falls under the harassment policy. It can not only result in expulsion and suspension, but also legal prosecution. It is also considered a class B misdemeanor.

There are ways to prevent cyber crimes. “Education and providing awareness to cyber bullying empowers students to let them know that they can stand up for themselves,” Harper said.

Students should also be careful with giving out their email addresses as well as sharing other personal information that could be used against them. Another way to put an end to cyber bullying is by not responding to the messages the bullies send.



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