Cyberbullying is a growing problem for today’s children and teenagers. A 2018 Pew Research Center survey found that 59 percent of American teenagers have been bullied or harassed online. As a parent, here’s what you can do to protect your kids from cyberbullying.
Talk to them
Ask them what they know about cyberbullying and whether they’ve witnessed or experienced it themselves. Many kids avoid talking about the issue with their parents for fear they won’t be allowed to use social media or their devices at all. Let them know that you won’t curtail their access to the internet.
Teach them online safety protocols
Kids should be taught how to use the internet safely. This includes:
- Not sharing personal information online, including their age and where they live
- Not opening suspicious links, emails and messages
- Adjusting online accounts to the strongest privacy settings available
- Using secure passwords and not sharing them with others
Monitor their activity
Limit their internet use to common areas of the house so you can keep an eye on what they’re doing. Insist they give you their passwords and let them know you’ll be monitoring their activity regularly.
If your child is being cyberbullied, work with them to decide on the best course of action. This should include saving copies of hostile messages and posts, blocking the bully and notifying the proper authorities if necessary.