CYBERBULLYING

 

/sʌɪbəˌbʊliɪŋ/

The use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.

Cyberbullying is the newest high-tech way for children to intimidate each other. It’s insidious, and bullies can act with impunity, never having to face up to the consequences of their actions. Your child may even be the bully, although it’s a sure bet that parents of both bullies and their victims won’t know what’s occurring in their own homes.

50%

50% of adolescents and teens have been bullied or engaged in cyberbullying. 10-20% of the victims experience bullying regularly

Just what is cyberbullying, how do you know it’s happening, and what steps can be taken to tackle it?

Cyberbullying is simply bullying on social media, over the internet or utilising technology, and can also take place via text messages or email.  Bullies attack their victims by repeatedly posting embarrassing photos and/or hurtful comments, which get seen by many of the child’s peers and which can potentially remain online forever. Your child could be suffering and you could be unaware; there’s a strong chance they won’t tell you.

Sadly, children that have been bullied are up to three times more likely to engage in suicidal thoughts.

50%

Well over 50% of kids do not tell their parents when cyberbullying occurs

An indication that your child is being bullied may be a sudden change in your their behaviour, particularly when they unexpectedly increase or decrease their internet or technology usage.  A once happy child, eager to chat with friends online, may abruptly cease, or become withdrawn after checking their texts or posts on social media.  Perhaps they’ll have noticed that others are talking about them.  Photos will appear without their permission.  Other children will talk about your child in ‘code’, de-friend them en-mass, and encourage others to do likewise. In a paper published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the researchers found children who are both victims and bullies, are at highly increased risk of considering suicide, or have planned and engaged in suicidal or self-harming behaviour by 11-12.

33%

Bullies and victims 33% times more likely to have suicidal thoughts by age 11

There are steps you can take to reduce the chances of your child becoming a victim or perpetrator of cyberbullying, and they all begin in the home.  Initiate clear rules about technology use, such as what sites are off limits and when to have screen-free time.  Negotiate a contract with your child, and agree together what is acceptable behaviour on social media and what is not. Talk to your children from time to time about what online games they’re playing and with whom, and monitor in-game chats.  Make monitoring part of your computer usage.

22%

22% of parents admit to having no control over their 4-18 year old children’s internet

If you discover that your child is a victim of cyberbullying then don’t panic and don’t make your child feel as though they’re to blame by banning them from technology as this may further exacerbate the problem and push them to in using social media and technology further form your gaze.

Let them know you love them and support them unconditionally, and encourage them to tell you what has been happening.  Ask them how they’d like to handle it and reassure them you’ll work together to find a solution. Importantly, if you fear for your child’s safety, involve the Police, and inform their school, but it is best not to approach the child or children doing the bullying.

42%

42% admitting they never check online history

Cyberbullying can be subtle or obvious, but its effects are long-lasting; an essential measure in the prevention of cyberbullying is the installation of monitoring software as part of your anti-bullying armour.

SafeKidsPro is a solution that has been designed to keep kids safe on Social Media.  It detects and will alert you to potential cyber bullying, and threatening messages that are sent or received and images that are shared.

It will also alert you to potential stranger danger, online predatory behaviour, sexual, swearing and offensive content that it detects on your children’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

SafeKidsPro is a cloud based social network monitoring tool that can monitor up to 8 of your child/rens’ social media accounts no matter whether they access them from your whether at home, outside, from a PC, laptop or mobile.

Social Media Dangers

25% of Facebook users are under the age of 10


The average teen has 425 Facebook “friends”


55% of kids have shared personal information with strangers e.g. photos & personal descriptions


24% of kids have had private/embarrassing info made public

Social Media Facts

Over 34% of the entire world’s population uses Facebook & Twitter


1.4 billion people use Facebook


250 million people access Facebook from their phone


70 billion pieces of content shared on Facebook each month

Social Media Dangers

38% of 13-18 year olds have received a sexually explicit message


39% admit sharing intimate images


40% do not see anything wrong with sending topless images


56% are not aware of instances where images and videos were distributed further than the intended recipient


Teenagers have been convicted as sex offenders for sending/sharing sexually explicit messages