Cyber Bullying: What You Should Know and How To Prevent It

As a parent, your child’s safety is priority number one. It is a continual concern of any parent, and rightly so. In today’s technologically advanced world, where most are glued to digital screens, it is important to be diligent in making sure kids are free from the hazards that lie in wait online. 

Did you know:
• 42% of kids have been bullied while online. 1 in 4 have had it happen more than once.
• 35% of kids have been threatened online. Nearly 1 in 5 have had it happen more than once.
• 53% of kids admit having said something mean or hurtful to another person online. More than 1 in 3 have done it more than once.
• 58% have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online.

Source: i-SAFE Foundation:

What you can do to prevent cyber bullying:
Here are 7 tips to help prevent cyber-bullying in the spirit of making sure that the Internet remains a safe, virtual space for your child.

1.) Limit the amount of time that your children are online, and know which sites they are visiting and who they're talking to.

2.) Remind children never to share their passwords with anyone.

3.) Encourage them to not accept friend requests (on Facebook or elsewhere) from people they don't know. And then, as a further step, reiterate that under no circumstances should they give people whom they have never met before personal information about themselves, such as their phone number or address.

4.) Ask your children to immediately inform you of any bullying they may be experiencing.

5.) If someone is harassing them, encourage your children not to respond (why give the bully the satisfaction?). Block that person's profile and immediately and report him/her to the site moderator. Also, make sure to save the conversation in the event that you need to provide proof of the bullying.

6.) If the source of the bullying is someone who attends your child's school, then get in touch with the school authorities to let them know what is going on.

7.) Finally, sometimes as much as we don't want to believe it, our own children may be the aggressors. In these instances, it's important to let them know that words said over the Internet can be just as hurtful and harmful as those said in person. Therefore, it is important to educate, in all of its myriad forms and iterations, about the cause and effect of bullying, with the intention of, for lack of a better word, ‘converting’ the antagonist to a defender of those individuals who are the victims of such ugly behavior.

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