While working online, have you ever felt that your personal and professional information is at risk and someone is tracking your online activities, even when you’re alone? Does the thought of someone constantly monitoring your online activity make you uneasy? These are common concerns in today’s digital age, where privacy and online safety are becoming increasingly important.
Cyberbullying and cyberstalking are serious issues that have become increasingly prevalent in the current era due to the widespread use of the internet and social media. Both can have serious consequences for the victim’s mental health and well-being. Victims may experience anxiety, depression, and other emotional distress; in some cases, the harassment can escalate to physical violence. Additionally, both can hurt the victim’s reputation and social standing.
Statistically, Instagram is the platform where people have experienced cyberbullying and cyberstalking most. As per The Annual Bullying Survey 2017, around 42% of the surveyed individuals faced harassment. Also, this number has increased since then. And as per the Teens and Cyberbullying 2022, nearly half of the US tennis are cyberbullied.
Imagine the situation now. These are just general statistics; when we go deeper, the dark consequences of cyberbullying and stalking can be seen. Since the impact of social media influencers is quite high, cyberbullying them does impact not only them but also the brands associated with them. And this is the reason insurance for digital creators is very important.
But before we understand this social media insurance, let us understand cyberbullying and cyberstalking and explore real-life examples. So, read through this article and know how digital creators and influencers can save them from cyberbullying and cyberstalking.
Cyber Bullying And Cyber Stalking
Cyberbullying refers to the use of technology to harass, intimidate, or humiliate another person while cyberstalking refers to the use of technology to harass or threaten someone repeatedly.
The anonymity provided by the internet can encourage people to say things they wouldn’t normally say in person, leading to an increase in online harassment. Cyberbullying can take many forms, including spreading rumors, posting embarrassing photos or videos, making threatening or harassing comments, and creating fake profiles to impersonate or mock someone.
On the other hand, cyberstalking involves a persistent pattern of online behavior intended to make someone feel scared or harassed. This can include sending threatening messages, monitoring someone’s online activity, or even using GPS to track their movements.
The common incidents include:
- Harassment on social media: Posting hurtful comments, spreading rumors, or creating fake profiles to harass someone on social media.
- Threatening messages: Cyberstalkers may send threatening messages through social media or email.
- Revenge porn: Sharing intimate or explicit images or videos without consent to humiliate or blackmail.
- Doxxing: Sharing personal information online, such as home address or phone number, intending to harass or intimidate.
- Online trolling: Deliberately provoking or harassing someone online with inflammatory or offensive comments.
- Online impersonation: Creating fake profiles or accounts to impersonate someone, often with the intent of embarrassing or harassing them.
Common Risks And Challenges
Cyberbullying and cyberstalking present several risks and challenges for victims and those trying to combat these issues. Some of the key risks and challenges associated with cyberbullying and cyberstalking include the following:
- Mental health consequences: Victims of cyberbullying and cyberstalking may experience a range of negative mental health consequences, including anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.
- Online reputation damage: Cyberbullying and cyberstalking can also damage a person’s online reputation, which can have long-lasting effects on their personal and professional life.
- Difficulty identifying the perpetrator: Because cyberbullying and cyberstalking often occur anonymously or through fake accounts, identifying and acting against the perpetrator can be difficult.
- Jurisdictional issues: Cyberstalking and cyberbullying can occur across multiple jurisdictions, making prosecuting offenders or enforcing laws difficult.
- Lack of awareness: Many people are unaware of the seriousness of cyberbullying and cyberstalking and may not take appropriate action to prevent or address these issues.
- Technical challenges: As technology continues to evolve, cyberbullies and cyberstalkers may find new ways to harass their victims, making it challenging for authorities and online communities to stay ahead of the problem.
- Balancing free speech and safety: There is also a challenge in balancing free speech and the need to protect individuals from harm, especially as social media platforms and other online communities struggle to regulate user behavior while upholding the principles of free expression.
The Incidents Of Cyber Bullying And Cyber Stalking
The cases of cyberbullying registered or published are quite less than the actual ones. But it is important to understand them to ensure that digital creators and influencers stay safe.
One example of an influencer experiencing financial loss due to cyberbullying is the case of Arielle Charnas, a fashion influencer and founder of the clothing brand Something Navy. In 2020, Charnas came under fire for reportedly breaking quarantine rules by traveling to the Hamptons after testing positive for COVID-19.
Charnas shared details of her COVID-19 diagnosis and recovery on her Instagram account, which has over 1.3 million followers. However, many people criticized her for traveling while she was supposed to be in isolation and accused her of putting others at risk.
As a result of the backlash, Charnas received a lot of hate and negative comments on her social media platforms. Many people called for a boycott of her clothing brand, Something Navy, and some retailers even pulled her products from their shelves.
Charnas reported that the cyberbullying and negative publicity caused a significant financial loss for her business. In a statement, she said that Something Navy experienced a “significant decline” in sales due to the controversy and that the brand had to lay off several employees.
This incident highlights the damaging impact that cyberbullying can have on an influencer’s brand and financial well-being. It also underscores the need for greater awareness and action to address online harassment and bullying and create a safer and more respectful online environment.
And this is one of the reasons to protect the influencer properly. This can be ensured by having social media influencer insurance. Let us look at how this can happen.
How Can Social Media Influencer Insurance Ensure protection?
Social media influencer insurance can protect by covering various risks associated with their profession. Here are some ways social media influencer insurance can ensure protection:
- General Liability Coverage: General liability insurance can protect influencers from third-party claims of bodily injury or property damage caused during events or promotions.
- Professional Liability Coverage: Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance, can protect influencers from claims of negligence, errors, or omissions while performing their professional duties.
- Cyber Liability Coverage: Cyber liability insurance can protect influencers from claims of data breaches, cyber-attacks, and other cyber risks that may result in the loss of confidential data or financial loss.
- Product Liability Coverage: Product liability insurance can protect influencers from claims of injury or property damage caused by a product or service they endorse.
Some Other Prevention Techniques for Cyberbullying and Cyberstalking
Here are some prevention techniques for cyberbullying and cyberstalking:
- Strong Password and Protection Techniques: One of the easiest ways to protect your social media accounts from cyberbullying and cyberstalking is by creating strong passwords. Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Additionally, change a different password for each social media platform regularly.
- Two-Factor Authentication: Enabling two-factor authentication adds security to your social media accounts. It requires users to enter a code sent to their phone or email and their password to log in.
- Limiting Personal Information Shared on Social Media: Avoid sharing too much personal information, such as your phone number, email address, or home address, on social media. Cyberstalkers can use this information to locate and harass you online or in person.
- Staying Up to Date on Privacy Settings: Keep your social media privacy settings up to date and ensure that only people you trust can view your posts and profile.
- Blocking and Reporting Abusive Accounts: If you receive abusive or threatening messages or comments, report them to the social media platform and block the account.
- Educating Yourself and Your Audience on Online Safety: Stay informed about the latest cyberbullying and cyberstalking trends and how to protect yourself online. Also, use your platform to educate your audience on online safety and encourage them to report abusive behavior.
Social media insurance can provide financial protection in case of legal action resulting from online harassment or defamation. It can also cover crisis management costs, including public relations and reputation management. While the prevention techniques discussed above can help reduce the risk of cyberbullying and cyberstalking, they are not foolproof.
Cyberbullies and cyberstalkers can be relentless and can cause serious harm to your reputation and mental health. This is where social media insurance can protect you from the potential financial and reputational damage caused by online harassment.
In summary, while prevention techniques can help reduce the risk of cyberbullying and cyberstalking, obtaining Welance social media insurance is essential to ensure that you have the necessary financial and reputational protection in case of legal action resulting from online harassment or defamation. Together, these measures can provide a comprehensive approach to protecting yourself as a digital creator and influencer in the ever-evolving social media landscape.