Bullying is nasty. Online bullying is even nastier. The perp hides behind a cloak of anonymity while the victim weeps onto their key board and disintegrates inside. It’s not ok, it needs to be stopped and here’s some advice on how to do just that.
Doing the right thing – protecting your kids against cyber bullies; tips, technology and other things
It is tough enough protecting your kids in the real world, never mind having to take into account the dangers that also lurk online.
However, to make it a bit easier for you we’ve just launched a new service that provides your kids with Facebook protection.
We’ve also got some good practice tips and some helpful resources that will help you steer a straight line when it comes to looking out for the offspring when they’re cruising around that gaming site or chatting gossip with friends.
First up, BullGuard Identity Protection (BIDP) is a great way to discreetly monitor your child’s Facebook profile. It alerts you if they receive inappropriate content such as suspect photos or private messages.
It also checks out friend invites that look suspicious, spotting bullies based on the content of messages. BIDP also flags up links that that connect to websites that might harbour things that could damage the computer or display inappropriate images.
It’s a web-based service which means you can access it from anywhere where’s there’s an internet connection and on any device. Any suspicious activity is flagged up and parent’s can choose to block it or not.
Some people might think of this as snooping. It’s not, it’s discreet and unobtrusive. And which parent wants to see their child being bullied?
10 Tips on keeping your child safe online
As well as keeping an actual eye on your kids’ internet surfing there are some other simple steps you can take to protect your children against cyber bullying:
- Keep computers in a busy area of the house, so you can keep an eye on the monitor
- Help kids use privacy protection features
- Know who your children communicate with online
- Insist on knowing your children’s passwords
- Advise them not to respond to offensive or violent content
- Encourage them to tell you if they receive threatening messages
- Teach them not to share sensitive photos of themselves
- Tell them that it’s ok not to friend people they don’t want to
- If they use smart phones guide them on installing apps. Some contain aggressive adware.
- Use an antivirus solution with parental control that watches over kids online.
Your kids may howl in protest at some of these measures, such as revealing their passwords, but deep down they know you’re just looking out for them. So you’ll both just have to tough out the momentary discomfort for the sake of the greater anti-bullying good.
Some useful and colourful sources on cyber bullying
Stop cyber bullying is a useful web site that emphasises the need to take a firm stand against cyber bullying. It’s a little bit wordy, and unusually doesn’t have lots of pictures, but even a speed read gives some useful hints and tips.
If you didn’t already know it, cyber bullying can be potentially devastating for those bullied. The US-based endofbullying web site does a pretty good job of summing up in a tight and powerful way the damage caused by cyber bullying. If you’re looking for behavioural clues this is a good place to start.
The well known Childline has an informative page on the cyber bullying. It’s aimed at kids who are being bullied and spells out in clear language that bullying is not ok. If you think your children need to learn about cyber bullying and you want to give them a diplomatic nudge, as opposed to a hair dryer talk (from the child’s perspective), this is a great place for them to visit.
Beat Bullying is also a great site for kids. The site is compellingly designed and will attract kids like bright shiny objects attract toddlers. It even offers mentors via a live chat tool. There’s also a useful section for parents and teachers.
Posted by Steve Bell