What you need to know about cyberbullying
We’re sure that by now you’re all aware of at least some of the digital dangers that await your kids on their smartphones, tablets and computers. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading this post. Regardless of what you know (or don’t) about cyberthreats, we felt it was worth taking the time to dive into one specific cyberthreat. Cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is a type of bullying that happens over digital devices like smartphones, computers and tablets. It can take place over any medium through which content is shared including SMS, messaging apps, IMs, social media and even in multiplayer games. Boiled down to its essence, cyberbullying can be defined as the sharing or sending of negative, harmful, false or mean content about someone else. The sharing of personal or private information about someone without prior consent is also considered a widespread form of cyberbullying.
Here’s some fresh stats about cyberbullying to help you understand just how prevalent and common it has become today.
Yes, cyberbullying is a problem that your kids will most likely encounter at some point in their lives. Parental control apps like FamilyKeeper help protect your kids by alerting you to any problematic language or behavior across different social media apps and platforms. But that’s not enough. The better you prepare your kids for appropriate, safe digital behavior, the more secure they will be while on their devices.
Cyberbullying comes in many shapes and forms. The more you know about the different tactics, the better you will be equipped to deal with them. From nude photo sharing, spreading lies and false accusations, to creating fake profiles to solicit information, and encouraging self-harm or suicide, the list is long.
Like any other problematic behavior, there are ways to pick up on whether your child is being cyberbullied, or is cyberbullying others. For example, increased (or decreased) usage of devices and strong emotional responses to what is happening on their device are warning signs. Other signs to watch out for include a child hiding their device or refusing to discuss what they’re doing on it, along with depression or withdrawal from social activities.
Along with using FamilyKeeper, a great way to protect your kids from cyberbullying is to establish rules and talk about what you consider to be appropriate types of content and digital behavior. By creating an open, honest dialog with your kids you can convey your values and expectations. Discuss the importance of maintaining a good online reputation and educate about the harmful effects of cyberbullying. Be very clear about the type of content you think your kids should be sharing or seeing. Set up limitations on usage and screen time and always set an example of displaying positive, respectful behavior when using your own digital devices.
Another way to prevent negative digital experiences is to teach your kids appropriate actions to take if they’re witnessing cyberbullying. Teach them that they should never share or “like” hurtful texts or other forms of cyberbullying and should consider responding privately to the person doing it. Consider reaching out to the targeted child to publicly show that cyberbullying is negative behavior that isn’t supported by the majority.
FamilyKeeper is a leading parental control app that gives you tools to prevent cyberbullying and other digital dangers. Advanced monitoring across social media apps and messaging platforms alert you to any dangerous or suspicious behaviors.