Privacy and Cyberbullying

This discussion will be based off privacy and cyber bullying, in which teenagers experience while connecting with the Internet. While interacting with the Internet and websites it is common to see privacy options and settings. Privacy is defined by being free from observations and tracking however, a users activity on the Internet is always being tracked and analyzed. Therefor, it is questioned if online privacy does exist or if the Internet is public information regardless. Cyber bullying is an electronic message that is communicated in a hurtful or threatening nature between Internet users. Both subjects can be scary and many users are not properly informed or educated on the effects these subjects could have on the individual. During this discussion, the two issues will be related directly to teenagers and their usage of the Internet.

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I have chosen to discuss privacy and cyber bullying based of my age and my lack of knowledge on the two subjects. The modules related to me considering how I do overlook privacy settings and cyber bullying that surround me while I’m accessing the Internet. As a student studying advertisement and marketing communications at Sheridan College I’m aware of companies selling their third party data to other companies and have some insight on how and why. I have never been victimized of cyber bullying however I know that is exists through devastating stories, which include Amanada Todd, and recently increasing my knowledge on the subject.

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Parents know bullying as an act of face-to-face interaction, which use to happen on the playground or possibly traveling to and from school. Bullying use to be straightforward and could be caught early and observed through bystanders. Now with 69% of teens owning their own computer or smartphone device cyber bullying is affecting one in three kids. Cyber bullying can be used in eight different forms including some common forms such as cyberstalking, outing, flaming, and harassment. No wonder 81% of youth say bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person. (OnlineCollege) Therefor, it is important for parents to be limiting online usage for youth, watching, checking in with their children’s social media and communication websites. Nothing is private online anyways so might as well teach the new online generation this concept early. Teenagers don’t have concern about their privacy settings on social media or other websites considering only 9% of teenagers say they are “very” concerned on who is accessing their data. (Madden, et al,2013) However, is this because youth aren’t educated on who is tracking their data or is it because they already know nothing is private? 72% of 14-17 year olds are sharing information such as the city or town where they live on social media. It is understood that it’s not safe to post information in regards of when and where the youth may be alone or a house is left undented. It has been reported that burglars have used tools such as Facebook to identify when and where a house can be easily broken into. However, every website we connect to online is tracking our activity, downloading cookies to our computer, and collecting data to sell to advertisers and other companies. This third party data is being used for consumer based retargeting options and advertising usage not to break into your home.

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It is important for youth to understand that any information or activity happening online is not private therefor, a parent watching over social media and communication sites should be acceptable considering the high risk of cyber bullying. Both privacy and cyber bullying complement each other with trying to keep youth safe while online. The two subjects do not oppose each other because of the strong correlation between them. The Internet space is massive where the users can find a lot of information as well expose their own information. It is just as easy to expose information to data analytics, burglars, stalkers, and cyber bullies.

Privacy and cyber bullying are both online related problems that teenagers need to be informed about and have knowledge about to help decrease potential threats. It is helpful for parents to go through the advantages and disadvantages of social media and websites to help control privacy settings and cyber bullying communication patterns.

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Online College. (2012). Cyberbullying: How Bullies Have Moved From the Playground to the Web. Retrieved March 25, 2017, from Online College: http://www.onlinecollege.org/cyberbullying/

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