According to the i-SAFE Foundation,
- 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.
- 58% have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online.
Cyberbullying is difficult to understand and not always easy to recognize. According to Dictionary.com, cyberbullying is “the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.” This can include sending mean text messages to someone, spreading rumors through social media sites or posting embarrassing pictures, videos or fake profiles online.
Help protect your child from cyberbullying and make sure your kids are safe online.
- Join the social networking sites yourself. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, for some adults who have yet to enter the world of social media, the best way to learn about it is to jump right in! Create a profile and “friend” or “follow” your child. This is a great way to keep an eye on what your child is doing online. Just remember, try not to bother them too much on social media because it is easy for them to create a secret account that you don’t know about.
- Talk to your kids often about social media and the internet. Teach them about cyberbullying and acceptable online use. Encourage them to tell you if they see something online that isn’t right. Often, cyberbullying escalates because kids are afraid to tell an adult.
- Monitor your kids online. This is easy when your child is younger but once they have their own phones and computers, this can become difficult. A tip for parents of older kids? Have your child write down their passwords and log in information on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. This way, your child will know that you respect their online privacy but you will feel safe that you have access to their accounts if something happens.
- Monitor your computer. There are many different monitoring tools that you can use to keep your kids safe online. One of the easiest things to do is setting up a Google Alert with your child’s name. You will receive an email whenever someone mentions their name online. If you are looking for other software monitoring tools, check out Best Apps and Products to Prevent Cyberbullying.