Cyberbullying is on the rise. In fact, the FBI is investigating incidences of harassment activity on social media and other internet circles. The vice has extended to zoom class meetings where kids harass each other or hackers expose the details of kids.
As a parent, you have to do everything to keep your child safe from online bullies. Even as big tech companies promise to make products and platforms that are safer for kids, parents need to step up and monitor kids’ activities that can make them prone to cyberbullying. The first step in keeping your kids safe is teaching them about the dangers lurking on the internet. When you teach them, at least they know what may happen if they are victims of bullies.
Nevertheless, most kids will still not understand the magnitude of the cyberbullying until it happens to them. You can protect them as follows:
Understand Cyberbullying Before Teaching Your Kids
You can only teach what you know. According to Common Sense Media, cyberbullying refers to the use of digital communication tools, such as the internet and cell phone, to harass someone and make them feel angry or scared. Cyberbullying becomes serious when it is intentional and recurring.
There are many avenues where cyberbullying occurs but mostly, it is common on social media. As long as a child has a phone or computer that connects them to the outside world, they are prone to cyberbullying. According to the Cyberbullying Prevention Center, below are some of the questions you should ask your kids:
- What’s your favorite app?
- Has someone ever sent you a text that upset you?
- What kind of posts do you have on your social media pages?
- Does your school have a platform where you can anonymously report cyberbullying?
- Has someone ever verbally attacked you during an online game?
There are many more questions that can help you better understand your kid’s online life and protect them. You can see the questions here. Even as you protect your kids, be sure to stay safe from cyber and identity theft. For this, you can get protection with the most affordable plans. This keeps your devices safe from hackers that may bully your kids and steal your identity.
Look For Telltale Signs of Bullying and be a Role Model
Your child might not be forthcoming about their online life. However, if you are close to them, you will notice changes in their behavior that can inform you when something is wrong. If you notice that they are always angry, sad, or worried, it might be time to have the cyberbullying talk. Do not be surprised if your kid is a bully online. Sometimes, bullying starts with a single hateful statement and before the kid realizes, they are already deep into bullying others.
As a parent, you need to reinforce your kids’ values so they never become bullies and teach them to report in case someone bullies them.
Limit Devices and Internet Use
How long do your kids use devices such as phones and laptops? Where do they use these devices and what do they access?
If devices are only used on the living room, your kids might be afraid to visit adult website or engage in message exchanges without you knowing. However, when they carry devices to their bedrooms, they might be harassed and you may never know. In the living room, you can read their reactions and understand what is happening.
You can also restrict the internet usage and the sites that the kids can visit. Today, web browsers allow you to restrict certain content. TVs also have content restrictions so you can keep your kids from visiting certain sites. If you are looking to ensure your kids are safe, you can get home identity theft protection services but you can also ensure that the devices your kids use never show their location. The devices and their social media accounts should never show location. This way, you kid never falls victim to bullies.
Conclusion If someone bullies your child and threatens them, you need to take action and report to the authorities. There are organizations working to protect children such as UNICEF, but you still need to protect your child at home. These organizations are enlisting the help of the government to block problematic sites. Tech companies are also willing to help by making their platforms safer for kids and adults. Before that happens, the tips above could save your child the trauma.