Cyberbullying has become an incredibly common and serious problem among kids and teenagers as internet accessibility and cell phone usage has increased, and as a parent, it’s understandable that you would want to do anything in your power to protect your kids online, keeping them safe from the long term and the short term effects of bullying on social media websites.
If you’re like most parents, you may have already found out that installing invasive software to monitor internet activity isn’t always the best solution. So, here are just a few tips on how to best protect your kids online when it comes to cyberbullies:
- If you know that your child is receiving rude or mildly insulting messages through texts, social media websites, and email accounts, one of the most important tips for internet safety is to ignore the messages rather than respond to them. Similar to traditional bullying, it’s very possible that cyberbullies will give up if their victim doesn’t respond.
- If the messages continue and/or becoming more violent, insulting, or threatening, don’t be afraid to get involved. There’s plenty of internet content filtering software and text message monitoring software that will help you detect these messages and save them — after all, cyberbullying is just another form of harassment, and if it gets out of hand, you and your child have every right to take legal action.
- Depending on the medium used to send the messages, you may be able to get the manufacturer or service provider involved. Cell phone services often have the ability to block specific numbers, and social media websites are pretty good about responding to complaints when bullying or privacy concerns are at stake.
Cyberbullying might not look serious because it’s so easy for the evidence to be deleted and hidden — but that detail just makes cyberbullying that much worse. When it comes to protecting your kids, there’s no such thing as being too dramatic or sensitive.