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Types of internet sexual harassment

The internet has changed the world for the better in many ways. This is particularly true in the business world. Conversely, it has also brought forth a variety of new challenges, such as companies seeking ways to ensure that employees do not engage in online sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment on the internet comes in many forms, such as when a person sends a sexually explicit email or text message to a coworker.

Most forms of internet sexual harassment fit into one of these three categories:

-- Gender harassment. This includes both graphic and verbal forms, and is best described as unwelcome or unwanted comments about a person's gender.

-- Unwanted sexual attention. This is when a person uses direct communication to sexually harass another. Messages often include verbiage related to the victim's sex life, sex organs or sex related activities.

-- Sexual coercion. Not as common as those detailed above, sexual coercion is when one party places pressure on a victim for sexual cooperation. For example, this can be done by threatening to terminate the victim's employment should he or she turn the person down.

Understanding the top forms of internet sexual harassment will ensure that you can pinpoint this concern without delay. This will allow you to then seek the appropriate assistance, such as by showing the message to your human resources department.

Knowing the ins and outs of online sexual harassment is important. What is even more important is knowing what to do about this, and then taking the necessary steps to protect yourself as a means of putting an end to the issue.

Source: University of North Carolina, "Sexual Harassment on the Internet," accessed June 09, 2015

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