Cyber bullying, Abusive emails…Stay safe in the forums and with emails

July 29, 2007

Anyone who runs a site such as adjuster forums, blogs or other businesses such as adjusting firms as well as participants at such sites may at times experience harassing emails, cyber stalking, cyber harassment,etc. It never fails to amaze me the fake email names and folks posting in a fake alias. Our site at ClaimSmentor requires verification of id and participation in the adjusting community so we haven’t had that issue there thank goodness.

 I have read some recent emails from adjusting firm managers about receipt of such emails from adjusters that were  not called for as the result of an email they sent out on a conference or other details an adjuster may have disagreed with,etc.  We have also been advised by adjusters that they may have made the mistake of providing a personal email  address on a claim to get documents from a policyholder who may later have been upset with a settlement or denial.  Don’t feel that you have to sit back and do nothing about the poster or sender. There is MUCH info available by searching the cyber bullying term on sites such as google.

We hear of trainees abused on forums  so this information may be of interest to you also if you have experienced a problem. Most sites make use of forum moderators who quickly deal with problems and professional sites would not allow cyberbullying antics to begin with. I’m happy to find that my favorite forums for catastrophe adjusters has been very pro active in the past year or two in preventing such abuses(visit www.catadjuster.org today if you aren’t familiar with this excellent site. The archives are full of important cat adjusting information- just overlook some of the negative postings to find a wealth of information).

Adjusting firms and carriers will help you with these issues if you are an adjuster. Make sure you follow your adjusting firm’s email instructions as many do NOT want you using your email on claims for these very reasons. Find out what email address your adjusting firm is using for you in their electronic CMS system as many do use your email in assignment notifications to carriers and policyholders. You may want to create a seperate email address for all claim communications if you are required to use a personal one with your assignments so policyholders do not have your personal email account.

Another interesting fact learned during the course of this research indicates that cyberbullying does not even have to be direct emails sent to you but damaging emails sent about you by offenders.

Heck- it applies to all of us and our children whether in our personal or our professional lives. Many adjusters are gone from home months at a time serving on catastrophe duty and need to know how to keep our children safe when we cannot be available.

I’ve learned that the term cyberbullying is the name that applies to harassment on forums, blogs, emails, private messages, and other forms of electronic communication. Just enter the term “cyberbullying”  in your google search.  It is very interesting info to read about the developments in cyberbullying legislation. Alot of it pertains to kids. It was very sad to read that bullying with children has lead to suicides too. The good thing arising from this legislation is that law enforcement now does instruct cyberbullying educational seminars at schools today which will hopefully end this sad practice.

I’m posting this in the event anyone needs help tracking an email or reporting an abuser. First of all you can simply forward the abusive email to the senders ip service such as abuse@earthlink.net but here is some other good research found through some assistance we got from the IT firm we use with my business to locate such an email harasser  should you need to take it a step further:

Cyber bullying-Definition
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyber-bullying
 
US Computer Emergency Readiness Team
http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/tips/ST06-005.html 

Bully on line- Good article on the profile of a cyber bully. This article makes you realize how pathetic they are. Good instructions are also provided on how to respond if attacked by a cyber bully online or by email:

http://www.bullyonline.org/related/cyber.htm


Email tracker pro
http://www.emailtrackerpro.com/support/v6/headerstutorial.html


We tried the email tracker pro software.You can copy and paste the email properties in the abuser’s email  and it directs you right to the IP address on their computer. The one we tried directed us through the dynamic IP right to their REAL IP provider vs the one he/she sent the email through as well as to their city/state. It was very easy to narrow it down from there! You can get a free trial at http://www.emailtrackerpro.com to try it out! 


Here is the page where you can trace an email- it let me try it free copying the header from an abusive email received:
http://emailtrackerpro.visualware.com/
  What does this have to do with adjusters? Everything for the many of us who enjoy the many blogs, forums, and networking in these communities but are often witness to or victims of abuse to harassing private messages, emails, or forum posts. Don’t sit back but be proactive in putting a stop to cyberbullying. It’s the law. We cannot avoid the use of the internet or email with our jobs but we do need to learn to be safe in our ever growing electronic claim community which grows stronger every day with the growing use of electronic CMS (Claim management) programs. If you would like more information on this important topic for you, your firm, or your families, here are some great links:http://www.cyberbullying.us/links.php************

Postscript 8/3/07-Hilarious look at insulting remarks on this blog: You may find other things on this blog objectionable so view at your own risk. This “When insults had class” article is very funny and worth sharing though! What great comebacks for those insulting emails, forum post bashers, a blog harassment or nahhhhhhhhh going back to the profile of a cyberbully…they aren’t worth it!

 http://angryaussie.wordpress.com/2007/08/04/when-insults-had-class/