Protecting our Kids from Cyber Bullies !!

Cyber Bullying is bullying that takes place via electronic technology e.g. Smart phones, computers and tablets as well as communication tools such as Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Twitter etc…

Cyber Bullying can also be seen as Intimidating or threatening someone using technology.

According to Kaspersky there are several types and they have identified 10 types of Cyber Bullying affecting our kids that parents may not be aware of.

• Exclusion

• Harassment

• Outing

• Cyberstalking

• Fraping

• Dissing

• Fake Profiles

• Trickery

• Trolling

• Catfishing

For a full description of the terms, Please visit Kaspersky.co.uk

Some of the effects Cyberbullying has on our Kids

• Depression and low self esteem issues.

• Reluctance to go to school

• You start noticing their grades going south… becoming bad.

• Bad health caused by skipping meals, low appetite etc.

• Choosing to fight back and become Bullies themselves

• Some children give up and commit suicide as we read in the news.

What can Parents do?

• Monitor your child’s online time… You can do that using the apps we promote on the site. e.g. Qustodio, Kidslox and recently Kaspersky Safe Kids… See the description for links.

• Have an Open discussion with your child…

• Encourage your child to speak up

• Spend quality time with your children so you can identify the tell tell signs when something seems off.

Signs that may indicate your Child is being Cyber Bullied

• You notice your child suddenly stops using their smartphones or tablets.

• They appear apprehensive or anxious when using their smartphones

• You also notice that they are around you more… Which was not the case in the past.

• Changes in behavior such as becoming sad, jumpy, withdrawn or angry

• You notice that they are not as keen to go to school or take part in usual social activities.

• They become very dismissive and defensive when you show interest in what they get up to online.

Things Parents should aim to do straight away if you suspect your child is being bullied.

• Talk about it – Create opportunities to talk to your child in a relaxed environment, sometimes it can be less intense if you go for a walk or a drive rather than sitting at home

• Stay calm and ask them how you can assist them

• Ask open questions and listen to them without judging

• Praise them for summoning courage to talk to you.

• Don’t take away their devices unless this is what they want, it’s likely to make them angry and increase feelings of sadness and isolation

• Help them shut down arguments online before they take hold. Try not to involve lots of others in online arguments. This includes being careful what they post, what they share, and knowing when to leave a group chat or change the conversation. Ask people to take down hurtful or offensive content. Your child may be successful by simply being honest about how they feel, particularly if the perpetrator didn’t mean to cause them harm.

• Report it to the school authorities… you can visit Internetmatters.co.uk for guidelines. Don’t give up – the school have a legal duty to prevent all forms of bullying.

• Report it to the police… There is not a law against cyberbullying, but some cyberbullying activities could be criminal offences under a range of different laws including the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. If the content is sexual, targeted at your child’s ethnicity, gender, disability or sexuality, if threats are being made to harm your child or incite your child to harm themselves, then consider reporting the activity to the police. Some types of bullying are illegal.

Let’s continue to invest the time to save our children from Cyber Bullies.

Author: Lawrence Idem – familycyberclinic