It has been found that online abuse impacts on the victims’ mental health and wellbeing. Victims reported heightened anxiety levels, vivid flashbacks and persistent nausea.
Victims may feel fear as an intense emotion which may overshadow other aspects of their life.
Reflecting on the fact that anxiety and depression very commonly occur together, profound anxiety was often reported alongside depressive symptoms.
(Worsley et al, 2017: Victims voice: Understanding the emotional impact of cyber stalking and individuals coping responses)
Everyone has a ‘Digital tattoo’. A digital log of all the information you have ever posted online. This information can be stored and shared by others long after you may have deleted the information.
Watch and take part in the interactive video here.
Five things to ask yourself before you post something online:
If you didn’t know you, what would you think about this post? What impression would you have of the person who posted it? How would it look to an employer or a university recruiter?
Even if you delete a photo or post you can’t guarantee that it hasn’t been copied or downloaded by someone else. Don’t forget it’s easy for other people to copy what you share online, change it and share it without you knowing.
The more you share the more people can learn about you. Could they use your posts to bully you or to trick you into sharing something you may not want the world to see?
It’s important to think about the impact what you post online might have on others. Do you have your friend’s permission to share that funny picture of them? Could that jokey comment you posted hurt someone’s feelings?