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How to Keep Your Kids Safe From Cyberbullying

By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, March 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- No type of bullying is acceptable, but cyberbullying can be harder for parents to spot because it takes place via cellphone, computer or tablet, often through social media.

Cyberbullying can be a hateful text message or post of embarrassing pictures, videos and even fake profiles of the victim. Victims are often bullied in person, too, and have a harder time escaping it.

But unlike facing a bully at school, cyberbullying can happen 24/7, even when your child is home with you. Messages and images can be posted anonymously and spread in no time. And it can be difficult or even impossible to find the culprit.

The consequences of being cyberbullied are far-reaching. Young victims are more likely to use alcohol and drugs, skip school, lose self-esteem and develop health problems.

What can parents do? The website Stopbullying.gov recommends being proactive -- talk with your kids about cyberbullying, including why they should never bully others, and encourage them to tell you about any incident right away. Friending or following your kids on social media may help you know if they become the victims of unwanted postings.

More tips for parents:

  • Teach kids not to share anything that could hurt or embarrass them or others to avoid retaliation.
  • Regularly check your kids' social network pages to look for signs of bullying behavior, such as mean images of another child.
  • Tell your kids to talk to you if an online message or image makes them feel threatened or hurt.
  • Encourage your kids to speak up if they see cyberbullying happening to someone else, and not to engage in the bullying by forwarding posts.

If your child is cyberbullied, print and save screenshots, emails and texts for evidence. He/she should not react to the bully, but should block and/or delete him/her from their friends lists. Block the user name, email address and phone number. If your child finds a profile that was created or altered without his/her permission, contact the site to have it taken down.

Report cyberbullying to your online service provider, and go to its safety center to block users and limit who can contact your child. Report cyberbullying that involves a crime to police.

Contact law enforcement if cyberbullying involves:

  • Threats of violence.
  • Child pornography or sexually explicit messages or photos.
  • Any photo or video of someone in a place where he or she would expect privacy.
  • Stalking.
  • A hate crime.

Also report incidents to your child's school. The school can use the information to help with prevention and response strategies.

More information

Stopbullying.gov has more about cyberbullying and how to combat it.

Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=742901

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Parents
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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