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Cyberbullying: Tips For Protecting Your Your Children

Cyberbullying can impact children of all ages. All parents must take fundamental precautions to safeguard their children while they're online.

It is important to understand that children are all ages can fall victim to cyberbullying. Because it is frequently anonymous or difficult to trace, online bullying can be especially destructive and upsetting for both parents and children.

“Due to the proliferation of linked gadgets and the ever-expanding Internet of Things, cyberbullying is a much more serious problem than it was even a decade ago. Children, teens, and teens are spending increasing time online: 92% of children are now using the Internet daily, and over a quarter report being constantly signed in,” says Graeme Millar, managing director of SevenC Computing, a leading IT infrastructure and network service provider striving to identify and make available the best possible ICT strategies for its clients’ unique needs, provides tips on protecting your business, employees, and children from cybersecurity threats and cyberbullying.

“Not only do these so-called hyper-networking children, tweens and teens share more personal information on their social media sites than their peers, but they also have a 110% higher risk of cyberbullying.”

While it may be tempting for parents to consider taking severe measures to prevent the unthinkable, completely disconnecting children from social media does not prepare them for adulthood. Instead of seeking to hide children from all online dangers, Millar suggests we leverage the popularity of social media to teach them healthy relationships and communication skills – both online and offline.

What Exactly Is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is bullying that occurs on digital devices such as cell phones, laptops, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and applications, as well as online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can watch, engage in, or exchange content. Cyberbullying is defined as sending, uploading, or spreading negative, harmful, misleading, or mean content about another person. It can include disclosing personal or private information about another person, creating shame or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into illegal or criminal action.

The following are the most prevalent locations where cyberbullying occurs:

  • Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tik Tok
  • Text messaging and messaging apps for mobile or tablet devices
  • Instant messaging, direct messaging, and online talking via the internet
  • Online forums, chat rooms, and message boards, such as Reddit
  • Email
  • Online gaming communities

What Are the Repercussions of Cyberbullying?

Online bullying, like traditional forms of bullying, can sometimes result in serious long-term consequences. The stress of being constantly teased, taunted, or afraid can cause problems with mood, energy, sleep, and eating. It can also make your child feel stress, anxious, or depressed. Chidlren who are cyberbullied may find it difficult to concentrate in school, affecting their academic performance.

It is not only the victim of bullying who suffers. Cyberbullying can result in catastrophic consequences. More and more schools and after-school programmes are developing cyberbullying response mechanisms. Bullies may be removed from sports teams or suspended from school. Some forms of cyberbullying may violate school policies or even anti-discrimination or sexual harassment legislation. As a result, a bully may face substantial legal consequences.

How To Keep Your Children Safe Online

Follow these tips from SevenC to help protect your children from cyberbullying:

Establish Healthy Technological Boundaries 

As soon as children gain access to electronic devices, impose restrictions and permits on their technology use. Setting realistic limitations early on can prevent children from being overly dependent on their computers and mobile devices in the future and fosters the development of a healthy sense of self-independent from their digital identity. This makes it easier for children to withdraw from harmful or unsafe internet interactions.

Look For Teachable Situations And Be Willing To Learn Alongside Your Children

Talk to your child about cyberbullying, privacy, and other online concerns when appropriate. Use these instances as conversation starters to discuss what is and is not acceptable online and what you and your child can do in an uncomfortable circumstance. Ask your child how they would react to particular situations, and get their input on how you might best assist them with internet concerns. Remember that both of your reactions will likely evolve as your children become older, so continue these conversations.

Configure Their Device

Regardless of the device your child uses, there are free restrictions you can implement to prevent your child from purchasing and using particular applications, viewing specific content, or sharing certain information, such as their location.

Security Settings

Spend time exploring the privacy options together. Always assume that default settings are accessible to the public and update them accordingly.

Pseudonyms, Photos, And Passwords

Please encourage them to use a pseudonym and a profile photo of their pet or favourite band instead of themselves and to only be friends with people they know in real life. Avoid giving personal information such as their school, age, and residence. Also, remind your child that passwords should never be shared, even with close friends.

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