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Online Safety

Four Steps to Report Cyberbullying

September 15, 2014 | 0 Comment(s)

Due to the increased use of the Internet and social networking sites, bullying has moved beyond school halls and playgrounds into homes all around the world. Cyberbullying occurs when one individual threatens, harasses or attempts to intimidate another person through online sources such as email or other types of messages.

Parents and victims of cyberbullying can take these four simple steps when a problem arises.

 

Record the Cyberbullying Incidentcyberbullying

Responding to cyberbullies usually only makes the situation worse. Instead of responding, victims and their parents should carefully document each action and comment from cyberbullies.

Most email programs and social networking sites also let users block other users from contacting them again. Depending on the severity and frequency of the bullying, the social networking site may ban the person from using the site or place the individual’s account on probation.

 

Contact Service Providers

Comcast, Time Warner Cable and other providers have adopted policies to ban cyberbullying. Therefore, it is important to immediately contact service providers and report details of the harassment.

Many companies will take steps to address the problem and warn the individual or outright ban the IP address associated with the account involved in the bullying incident. Providers will often ask parents to show any documentation or evidence of the incidents, including harassing emails or threatening messages posted via a social networking site.

 

Contact Law Enforcement

Certain types of cyberbullying break federal and state laws. If the bullying escalates to threats, the the harassment may violate the law.

Using the Internet to commit a hate crime or stalk someone is another violation of the law. Other crimes include sexual harassment or violating someone’s privacy. In these cases, parents or guardians should contact the police or local law enforcement for help.

Federal law also bans the manufacturing, possession or distribution of child pornography, which refers to nude photographs or photographs that depict a sexual act of anyone under the age of 18.

 

Talk to the School

School faculty should know about cyberbullying incidents to prevent further incidences on campus.

Online harassment can often lead to harassment at home or in school. Many states have adopted new laws that require schools to have policies on cyberbullying.

If a school has a zero-tolerance bullying policy, then a student who bullies another student online may face expulsion. The school may also take steps to separate the two children or punish the bullying student.

 

Prioritizing online safety for your kids

March 13, 2014 | 0 Comment(s)

There’s no denying that the Internet has revolutionized the way we work, learn and interact. And with the recent 25th birthday of the Internet, it is a good time to look back and evaluate the online safety measures you take to protect your kids from potential dangers they could face every time they log on to play a game, do homework or chat with friends.

 

Common online safety tipsinternet-safety

Just like we teach our kids to be alert around people in public, it is important for your child to keep information guarded when interacting with people online. These are the most basic of internet don’ts that all kids should know:

  • Never give out personal information such as name, address, contact information or school schedules
  • Don’t send pictures of yourself to strangers – they may use them to help track you down
  • Tell a trusted adult if someone online makes you feel uncomfortable or threatens you
  • Never agree to meet a stranger in real life who you met online
  • Remember that not all people are who they claim to be online

 

Good rules for online safety

There are some general things you can do to help keep your child safe online. Here are just a few:

  • Watch them when they are online – this will keep them from viewing things they shouldn’t and you can see who they’re talking with
  • Use the safety filter options on your web browser to keep inappropriate search results and web pages from appearing
  • Keep anti-virus and malware protection current to avoid hackers stealing private information about you or your kids
  • Agree on what is okay to download – are music lyrics vulgar or pictures too graphic for kids their age?

With a little care and the proper coaching, your kids can experience all the great things there are to see and do online without falling victim to predators or being taken in by scams.

New app hopes to stop cyberbullies

February 3, 2014 | 0 Comment(s)

cyberbullying

 

A new app for Android and Apple devices was recently released with the goal of putting an end to cyberbullies.

The app is called StopIt and has four different features designed to allow the victims of cyberbullies to respond in various ways.

  1. StopIt saves messages the child feels is mean or offensive and forwards it to an adult the child has chosen. If that message is reported, an automatic message is sent to the cyberbully telling them to stop.
  2. HelpIt gives the child access to groups that will help the child deal with the emotional effects of the bullying.
  3. FriendIt lets children anonymously report acts of bullying that they witness.
  4. ReportIt gives victims an easy way get protection from serious cases of cyberbullying and can alert the authorities if deemed necessary.

Of course relying on an app to stop a child from being bullied is not a standalone answer. Other measures need to be taken to address bullying, prevent it from happening and educating children on how to respond if they are bullied.

There is also no word on how effective it actually is at stopping online bullying. But hopefully the StopIt app can be a useful tool in the fight against cyberbullies.