What is Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is when repeated deliberate and hostile behaviour intended to harm others is directed at an individual or a group through the use of
information and communication technologies.
As a parent, one of the worst things in the world is seeing your child being bullied by other kids. But when it is online you might be at a loss as to how to stop it. You might not even know for certain that it is going on. Especially if your kids are not wanting to speak openly about it, or feel embarrassed that it is happening in the first place.
Sadly, there is no way to make 100% sure that your children are safe from Cyberbullying on the web. But there are things you can do to prevent or stop it.
Watch Their Online Activity
The first step is knowing what they are doing online, and where they are doing it. Even using parental locks are not enough to keep your children out of websites you don’t want them visiting. Not only can they easily find ways around it, but many sites are ambiguous enough on content that filters don’t work properly.
Your responsibility is to monitor their use and make sure the people they are speaking to or have access to their information are not a threat. Being vigilant will also allow you to pick up on any Cyberbullying early on.
Lock Down Their Accounts
There are privacy settings on social media sites like Facebook for a reason. If your child has a profile at one of these sites, you should take extra care to make sure that access to information is limited to strangers. Setting all privacy settings to high will help with that.
Next, look at the people on their list and speak to your child about being careful what friend requests they accept as any of them could be a potential Cyberbully. Tell them that if someone is upsetting them, making them comfortable or acting in a way they shouldn’t, they should tell you and remove the Cyberbully from their list.
Watch Out For Real Life Bullying
If your child is being bullied in real life, such as by classmates, chances are the problem is going to spill onto the internet, or through devices like mobile phones. We have easier access to communication with others than we ever have before, and there are some negatives to that fact. Keep this in mind when dealing with bullying situations.
There are many apps and programs that can block phone numbers if the bullying has gone mobile.
Take Action Offline
When the Cyberbully’s are local children, you can use the instances of cyberbullying to put a stop to the issue. It offers clear proof, especially as anonymity is becoming harder on the web. Social media sites, for example, have real names on accounts.
Screen capture the proof of Cyberbullying , print it out and back it up digitally. Take it to the principle and the parents of those involved to make a case against it. Unlike playground taunts which can’t be verified, this gives you a solid platform of evidence to stand on. It also makes it impossible for the Cyberbully to deny what they have been doing, or at least that their account has been involved.
Have any tips? Let us know in the comments.