Dealing with fraping

Fraping is when somebody logs into your social networking account and impersonates you by posting inappropriate content in their name. It is a very serious offence as impersonating somebody online and ruining their reputation can have serious consequences. Remember Google never forgets so everything rude or otherwise posted online will never be fully gone, even if deleted.

Fraping - Do this first!

  1. Change your password - If you can still log into your account then follow the usual process to reset your password. Make this a strong password that you have never used before. If the password has been changed try to reset your password using the ‘forgot my password’ link.

  2. Turn on two-factor authentication - Almost all good email accounts now give you the option to turn on two-factor authentication. Turn this on now. This site will help you understand what it is and tell you how to turn it on.

  3. Change your log in details to other sites that use the same - or similar - username and password - Any other online accounts with the same or similar log in details need to be changed immediately. It is highly likely that a cyber criminal will check other popular sites as soon as they get into your social media account.

Approaches to dealing with fraping

  1. Remove the content - Review your profile and direct messages and delete any content that was sent by the perpetrator. Notify any individuals who have been communicated with directly.

  2. Report the unauthorised access to the social media provider - Let the provider know your account was hacked and they will follow an evidence preservation procedure at their end. Useful if you need it in a legal case later. Some useful links below to help you do this.

  3. Check your security & privacy settings - Go into your accounts settings and find the security settings area. Check what devices are connected and disconnect any you don’t recognise. Check recent log ins and screenshot the information of unauthorised log ins - most provide time, date, IP address, browser type and device type. Ensure nothing has been changed to enable the hacker to regain access.

  4. Check your recent activity - Review your recent posts, direct messages and general activity. See if you can find anything suspicious or may be used to scam others.

  5. Think about the repercussions of someone having access to the data in your social media account - Review what information is in your account and use it to make changes to limit what the criminal can do with it. For example if you have other passwords listed or bank details then take precautions to secure these accounts and change the exposed information.

If you are being bullied

  • Know it is not your fault - Nobody deserves to be bullied. Somebody being repeatedly cruel to you is a result of the bullies own personal issues. Know that it is not your fault.

  • Reach out for help - Especially if the behaviour’s really getting to you. You deserve backup. See if there’s someone who can listen, help you process what’s going on and work through it – a friend, relative or maybe an adult you trust.

  • Don’t respond or retaliate - Sometimes a reaction is exactly what aggressors are looking for because they think it gives them power over you, and you don’t want to empower a bully. As for retaliating, getting back at a bully turns you into one – and can turn one mean act into a chain reaction. If you can, remove yourself from the situation. If you can’t, sometimes humour disarms or distracts a person from bullying.

  • Tell the person to stop - This is completely up to you – don’t do it if you don’t feel totally comfortable doing it, because you need to make your position completely clear that you will not stand for this treatment any more. You may need to practice beforehand with someone you trust, like a parent or good friend.

  • Use the tools you have available - Most social media apps and services allow you to block the person. Whether the harassment is in an app, texting, comments or tagged photos, do yourself a favour and block the person. You can also report the problem to the service. That probably won’t end it, but you don’t need the harassment in your face, and you’ll be less tempted to respond.

Advice for parents & carers

Each case of cyber bullying is different and all should be taken seriously. The following advice may help:

  • Let them talk - Give them the space to share what they want to in their way and listen. Try to avoid the temptation to interrupt because you know what’s going on, prompt if necessary but let them do most of the talking. If there’s one sure way to put a child off seeking help, it’s making them feel embarrassed or ashamed about why they’re asking for help. Times change and some of the things young people do today may make us cringe sometimes, but the inherent behaviour is the same as it was when we were their age.

  • Don’t deny access to technology - When we speak to young people about barriers to getting help they often share that they are worried that their device may be taken away from them. Reassure them that this won’t happen if they speak up about something that has been worrying them online.

  • Talk to their school - Schools play a vital role in the resolution of abusive online behaviours. They have a plethora of effective tools such as the Enable anti-bullying toolkit. They have anti-bullying and behavioural policies in place in order to provide a duty of care to all who attend. As such, they will want to know about any incidences that could potentially affect a child’s wellbeing. Take the evidence of bullying and any additional details about the context of the situation and length of time it has been going on for. It is helpful to discuss this with your child and you may want to speak to the school together.

  • Contact the police if you fear for their safety - If you think that your child is in immediate danger don’t hesitate to call the police. Equally, if there is a direct threat of violence or harm within any conversation then you may also wish to contact your local police for support.

Tap into expert bullying support

There are a number of UK organisations who specialise in supporting bullying victims. Consider working with one of the following organisations to get the help and support you need.

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