Wednesday, November 4, 2009

10 Signs Of Cyberbullying

How can you tell if your child is the victim of on-line harassment? There might be an issue with cyberbullying if your child:
  1. looks nervous or agitated when on computer, and quickly exits when someone walks by
  2. out of nowhere, "loses interest" in the computer, and avoids discussion about it, or suddenly starts spending more time on-line(reading what's been posting, searching for more postings, etc.)
  3. is upset after using computer
  4. is emptying history folder after being on-line and attempting to hide browsing history
  5. suffers sleeping disturbances or mood swings
  6. has a change in eating habits
  7. engages in anti-social behaviour, including withdrawing from friends and family
  8. is preoccupied with self harm
  9. has physical symptoms such as nausea or headache
  10. has a change for the worse in school grades

What you can do:

  1. Educate your child: a) don't reveal personal information; b) don't say anything on-line that you might want to take back (sleep on it before you post it); c) don't post when you're angry; d) don't respond or retaliate to attacks. Don't engage in the conflict, or give the bully any more fuel.
  2. Talk to them about the real reason kids bully: because the bullies themselves are unhappy, and it very seldom has to do with the victim.
  3. Use technology to block the bully.
  4. Participate in your child's on-line life: the more information you have about what he/she is doing on line, the better equipped you will be to help.
  5. Teach your child to save the evidence.
  6. Don't take away internet time - this may prevent disclosure from your child ("if I tell, they won't let me on-line anymore"). Instead, teach your child to come to you for help.
  7. Keep the computer in a central room (do not allow internet in an unsupervised area).

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  1. We'd like to add...

    8. Trust but verify. Blocking a bully isn't always sufficient or easy to do. With proven products like Spector Pro and eBlaster, parents can see how kids are interacting with other kids online, what other kids are saying about their children, view pictures they're seeing on friends' sites -- and speak to their kids about these situations. Having copies of actual screen snapshots can be powerful. Here's what parents say about the products:

  2. Excellent point - thanks for your comment! I've added your site to my "Internet Safety Resources" list on the left.