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Cyberbullying - use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass or target another individual or group. This is a serious issue and happens mainly among young people, but not always. Cyber bullies can be classmates, online acquaintances, and even anonymous users, but most often they do know their victims.
What to look for:
- Child avoids computer, cell phone or other devices or appears stressed when receiving e-mail, instant messages or texts
- Withdraws from activities with family and/or friends or is reluctant to attend school/social events
- Avoids conversations about use of devices
- Seems depressed or displays low self-esteem
- Poor eating or sleeping habits
- Use of drugs or alcohol
What Cyberbullying Isn't
Though it is important to understand what cyberbullying is and how to recognize it, it is also important to understand what cyberbullying is NOT. Cyberbullying is NOT:
- Bullying someone to their face
- Teasing a good friend over email
- Posting non-embarassing pictures of you and.or your friends
- Defending yourself online against a cyberbully
- Writing nasty things about someone else in your private diary
How to Prevent Cyberbullying
- Know What Your Kids Are Doing Online
- Know which sites your child visits or the activities they take part in online
- Establish a technology agreement with your child and let them know you have the right to review online communications at any time if you have concern
- Use a parental control filtering software program to monitor online behavior
- Set up online accounts and passwords WITH your child so you have the information in case of emergency
- Place your home computer in a high-traffic area in the house
- "Friend" or "follow" your child on social media sites
- Educate your child about cyberbullying and encourage them to tell you immediately if they feel they have been cyberbullied
- Have Frequent Discussions With Your Child About What to Look For (possible discussion topics):
- Have you ever been upset with someone online? How did you deal with it?
- Has someone ever sent you a mean message online? How did it make you feel?
- If you knew someone was being cyberbullied, what would you do?
- Do you knew where to report cyberbullying on the sites you use? Who would you talk to at school?
Additional Parent Resources/Links
For questions about this information, contact Amanda Albrecht (608) 267-1071