Bullying in online communities is a growing social problem that has become all too common. Surveys show that one in five tweens and 59 percent of teens have been cyberbullied. And the rate of online bullying appears to be increasing. In this article, learn ways how you can prevent cyberbullying in your lives.
Cyberbullying was on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay-at-home orders have been linked to an increase in cyberbullying and toxicity on online gaming platforms of 70 percent and 40 percent, respectively.
Statistics demonstrate that cyberbullying has increased, despite increased awareness and improved school bullying prevention measures. As a result, parents must do everything in their power to keep their children safe from cyberbullying.
Why Prevention Is So Crucial?
Bullies commit cyberbullying using electronic devices, gaming apps, and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. It takes many forms when it comes to online trolls and the spread of malicious rumors and gossip. Almost always, the goal is to humiliate, threaten, intimidate, or abuse the person being targeted.
People who are cyberbullied are found to suffer a wide range of consequences, including mental, physical, and academic difficulties. In addition, cyberbullying is a major stressor in the lives of young people. Young people are left feeling hurt, embarrassed, and even frightened by cyberbullying.
It is possible for youngsters to feel hopeless when they are frequently harassed by others through social media, text messages, instant chatting, and blog posts. They may begin to believe that suicide is the only way out of the pain. Because of the serious consequences of cyberbullying, parents must do everything in their power to keep their children safe online.
Defending Yourself from Cyberbullying
You and your child can take steps together to lessen the probability that your child will be the victim of cyberbullying. Implementing safety measures and having continuing discussions about cyberbullying are all part of this. You need to talk about the dangers of cyberbullying, how it starts, and how it progresses.
It’s also crucial to teach your children how to use social media securely and responsibly and what to do if they’re bullied on the internet.
Protect Your Accounts and Your Devices
Cyberbullying and catfishing can be prevented if your youngster uses passwords on all of their devices. To safeguard accounts and devices, passwords are one of the best options.
Tell your youngster not to give out their passwords to anyone, even their best friend. This includes strangers! However, despite the fact that they may have complete faith in that person, there is no assurance that they will be friends in the future.
Make Use Of Tools And Settings That Protect Your Privacy.
Any time your child is engaged in any online activity, you should make sure they are aware of the organization’s privacy settings and available resources. Every social media network, from Instagram to Twitter to SnapChat to TikTok, has privacy settings that users can adjust as needed.
Take a look at your child’s social media accounts together and show them how to make their privacy settings as secure as possible. If you don’t want others to tag or share your images, you need to make your accounts private and require that others seek permission before they do.
Keep Your Details Online Private
Children should never post their home address, cell phone number, or email address. If they have close connections or a large online following, they should be cautious about disclosing their educational institution’s name or address.
Instill the idea that not everyone is exactly what they seem to be on the internet. If you see a teenage girl’s face on the profile picture, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re dealing with a teenage female. In order to obtain information on other teenagers, someone can pose as an innocent young lady.
Control The Sharing Of Your Location With Others.
It is possible to share a user’s location with friends on some devices. People will know where they are at all times if they share their location with them. Your child should have a conversation with you about whether or not they want to share their whereabouts with anyone.
Your child should exercise caution when it comes to the images they post to social media and when they share them. As an example, you may wish for them to keep their vacation photos private until you return from the trip. It will not be broadcast to the entire online globe that no one is at home for the next two weeks.
Before They Post, Teach Them To Think.
Teach your teenagers and tweens to wait a few minutes before sharing anything online. Because cyberbullies may use anything your child posts against them, it’s a good idea to teach your child to pause and think before they publish anything online. In the end, the content is irrelevant if someone intends to use it against you.
Ensure that your adolescent understands the importance of good online behavior. There are consequences for irresponsibly using social media and other internet technologies; this privilege, not a right, can be revoked.
If Using A Public Computer, Log Out.
Remember to log out of any accounts your children use when they are using public computers or laptops at school and the library. Log out of any other online accounts, such as email and social media. It’s not enough to simply close the tab.
Cyberbullies Should Not Be Responded To
Children who are the targets of cyberbullying should not engage in any kind of response. As a result, kids should avoid engaging in any kind of conversation with a cyberbully.
As long as your child refuses to engage in one-sided conversations with cyberbullies, they will only be able to get the emotional response they seek. Inform the authorities about any instances of online harassment.
Ensure your youngster is aware of the need to report cyberbullying to the authorities. You will be informed of what is happening, as well as the social media platform, the internet service provider, and any other parties that need to be informed. To stop the bullying, you may need to speak to someone at the school or the police.
It’s time to take action to prevent future incidents of cyberbullying. Do this after all the reports have been filed. While this won’t stop them from cyberbullying your adolescent in the future, it will put a halt to their harassment.
Preventing cyberbullying can never be too late, regardless of when your child first enters the internet world or if they have already been victimized by it. Safety measures can be beneficial even for college students and young people, who may be more vulnerable.
Set aside some time for discussion with your children about the dangers of the internet, including trolls, bullies, and other nastiness. If someone is cyberbullied, they should know what they should do and how they should report it.
Consider the fact that technology and the internet are not to blame. It’s those who use it to harm others that are the problem. Try to avoid removing or restricting your child’s access to technology or online tools. As a substitute, educate them on how to use these tools properly. If they take this step, they’ll reap the benefits throughout their lives.