Protect kids from cyber bullying
You never know who is out there on the internet and kids are especially vulnerable to cyber bullies. A survey by the technology arm of the United Nations, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has found that many parents worldwide have little idea of what their children are up to online.
The survey asked parents about their children's internet usage and 92 per cent of them will say they have set up ground rules about using the Internet. But the survey also revealed that most parents are clueless as to whether their child have even been victims of cyber-bullying, Internet paedophiles and online fraudsters or been exposed to pornography.
Other alarming findings by the ITU include:
1) 3 out of 5 children and teenagers talk in chat rooms on daily basis.
2) 1 in 3 teenage girls who go online have been harassed in chatrooms, but only 7 per cent of them tell their parents because they do not want to lose their Internet access.
3) 1 in 5 children are targeted by a sexual predator or paedophile each year.
4) 3 our of 4 children are willing to share personal information about themselves and their families in exchange for goods and services.
What is cyber bullying?
Cyberbullying is the use of technology to harass and threaten another person. It happens more among young people because of their high usage of the internet.
Some cyber bullying is easy to detect — for example, if your child shows you a text message, tweet, or response to a status update on Facebook that is harsh, mean, or cruel. But other acts are less obvious, like impersonating a victim online or posting personal information, photos, or videos designed to humiliate another person. Some kids report that a fake account or a web page has been created with the sole intention to harass and bully.
5 ways you can protect your child
1. Take complaints seriously. Don't brush off complaints from you kids-- just because bullying is happening online it does not mean it is less hurtful when not in real life.
2. Familiarise yourself with the internet. Some parents grew up without the internet and it is now more advanced than from many young parents' experience. Children who have been bullied on line tend to feel that their parents are out of touch and unable to understand their situation. Sit down and get to know main social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.
3. Tell your child not to respond. It is tempting to hit back on line at bullies but a response is exactly what they want.
4. Reassure your child. Some kids do not tell their parents about cyber bullying because they are scared of losing their internet privileges or that their computers will be taken away. Tell your children that you're there for them.
5. Install safeguards. As a last resort, install tracking software and features on your home computer.