Cyberbulling is a growing problem. Here is advice on how to deal with it.
Children spend so much of their time online. It’s important they can socialise and explore the internet and benefit from all it has to offer. Here’s some advice to help keep your child safe from cyberbullying or exploitation.
It is vital to have a conversation with your child about how they use their time online. It is also useful and fun for you to be kept up to date about the latest technology, sites and communication tools.
What’s the attraction of the Net for Children? Understand why they enjoy going online and you will be able to help keep them safe.
They use the internet to:
- Search for information for school assignments using search engines.
- Chat with friends on Facebook
- Get followers on Twitter
- Write or reply to messages on forums
- Play games online with others through apps
- Chat with other people on Whatsapp
- Use Instagram and Pinterest to post pictures
- Watch videos on YouTube and Vine
If you check out these sites for yourself you will start to experience what your child does when they are online. That way you can start to talk to them about their online world.
Blackmailing children online destroys lives – forcing them to suffer humiliation and torment and leading them into despair. Together, we can fight that.
This is a new form of bullying which results when a child puts some sensitive material like a naked picture of themselves on the internet and then are asked for money to remove it. Many tragedies involving young people taking their own lives have been following this type of bullying incident. To be humiliated in this way and then have to extract their parent’s money to get them out of the situation is deeply distressing and traumatising. When the bully uses this type of tactic children feel there is no way out of their predicament.
`Blackmail, which involves extortion, is when the offender threatens to reveal information about a victim or his family members that is potentially embarrassing, socially damaging, or incriminating unless a demand for money, property, or services is met. ‘
Online blackmail is one of the most serious forms of cyberbullying but lighter forms of it are difficult to pinpoint.
Anonymity online is a fact of its use and is necessary to protect privacy in the electronic realm. However, AAB believes we should make an example of online blackmail when we see it to stop this harmful practice. The penalty for blackmail in the UK can be up to 14 years in prison.
Tips to help keep children safe on the internet and social networks:
- Make friends online with someone who is not who they say they are.
- Come across pornography and other inappropriate content which can make them feel anxious and afraid.
- Give out personal information about themselves or your family to be used by criminals.
Most social networks, gaming sites and browsers have parental controls. These can filter or monitor what your child can see. However, today most children have their own phones and internet access. Therefore talking to them about the internet is one of the best ways to keep them safe.
How to help.
Stopping your children from using the internet or mobile phones for fear of the dangers won’t keep them safe in the long run.
- Have the conversation early and often
- Explore online together
- Know who your child is talking to online
- Set rules and agree boundaries
- Make sure that content is age-appropriate
- Use parental controls to filter, restrict, monitor or report content
- Check they know how to use privacy settings and reporting tools
We’ve made quite a splash with our campaigns. But with your help, we can continue to change social attitudes on bullying and abuse wherever it occurs.
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