The internet can be a fun place, but it can also be dangerous if used the wrong way, but with a bit of guidance from parents and teachers you can learn how to use the internet safely.
There are multiple ways you can stay safe on the internet, but the first thing that your parents should do would be setting up parental controls for your internet and social media accounts (if you have them.) This way they can monitor everything that you are doing and make sure that you don’t do anything to put yourself in harms way.
Make sure that you know that:
- Cyber bullying means using an electronic device to hurt, scare, or humiliate other people. Cyber-bullying gets people in serious trouble at school and also with the law. In a growing amount of places, certain forms of cyber-bullying is illegal with serious consequences such as fines and prison time if it’s a serious case.
- Even if you think that someone was mean to you, being mean back isn’t a safe way to handle the problem, instead tell an adult that you trust, like teachers or parents.
- Use privacy settings meaning that people you don’t have added on social media, but this doesn’t mean that you should post things that you wouldn’t want the world to see, because even with privacy settings turned on people can still share the information/media you have posted.
- If you get an upsetting message or see something that is attacking you, do not reply, do not delete. Save the message, get a screenshot, print it if you can and get help from an adult you trust, if one adult doesn’t help you, keep asking until you get the help you need.
Give consequences if kids cyber-bully, for instance if anyone in your life does something hurtful to another person, either online or in person, have them apologise and make amends. Figure out what actions they took to create the problem, and coach them through a practise of making safer choices instead. Often, the loss of privilege to use the technology involved for a specific time period is the most appropriate and effective method of teaching them that it’s wrong to treat others in a hurtful and mean manner, even over the internet.
Provide support for a child if they have been cyber-bullied. The anonymous nature and widespread distribution of cyber bullying can be devastating. If your child is facing cyber-bullying, provide emotional support by giving them confidence again and helping them through the time that they had. Ask for action to correct the problem, be it from school authorities, social media owners, and if necessary in bigger cases, the police.
For more information on Cyber-bullying and what it is, feel free to read at the link below: