The numbers don’t lie: about 37% of young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have been bullied online. And 30% have had it happen more than once.
Even more alarming is the finding that only 1 in 10 teen victims will inform a parent or trusted adult of their abuse.
It’s painfully clear that cyberbullying is something that every parent should be monitoring and discussing with their children. But how can parents take preventative measures to ensure their children are safe online? And if their children are being cyberbullied, how can they react in a timely manner to stop their children from engaging in self-harm or even committing suicide?
What Is Cyberbullying?
According to StopBullying.gov, cyberbullying is defined as “bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content.”
Cyberbullying normally takes place on popular social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. Here are nine social media apps to watch out for that may have not been on your radar yet.
Cyberbullying comes in many forms—trolling, harassing, body shaming. Here are the top ten types of cyberbullying that we’ve identified.
It’s no surprise that cyberbullying can have dire consequences. Think depression, loss of appetite, feelings of inadequacy and helplessness, agitation and moodiness, a decline in performance at school, insomnia. At its worst, cyberbullying can lead to teenagers engaging in self-harm and suicide, as depicted in the widely viewed Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.”
Let’s face it—social media isn’t going away, as is kids’ access to social media.
Now, imagine if you could get ahead of your kids’ possible threats on social media. How would that change the effects of cyberbullying on your kids—and the peace of mind you get in the process?
Safety From Cyberbullying
Keeping kids safe from cyberbullying involves a three-step approach—education, communication, and prevention.
Most kids aren’t completely sure what cyberbullying is, since online and in-person teasing and taunting have unfortunately become the norm. Kids need to be educated on where the line should be drawn between playful teasing and cyberbullying using offensive language—including hateful, derogatory, racist, and homophobic remarks.
Kids should be taught to be responsible online and careful with the words they use on social media. Likewise, if they see something that looks like cyberbullying, let them know that they can and should let a trusted adult know, including yourself, your partner, or a teacher at school.
To change the culture of cyberbullying, you need to talk about it with your kids openly and often. Having a clear zero-tolerance policy for cyberbullying—and communicating that standard with your kids—will let them know that tolerating cyberbullying from anyone isn’t okay in your family.
Watch for changes in your kids’ behavior that might indicate they’ve been victims of cyberbullying. Empathize with your children, build a safe and trusting environment for difficult conversations, brainstorm ideas on how they can solve their problems, and empower them to take control of the situation.
With the advances in natural language processing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI), cyberbullying detection has become much easier. At Securly, we’ve made it our mission to help keep students safe online with our best-in-class technology.
Case in point—our comprehensive web filtering monitors every social media post and email on kids’ school-issued and personal devices.
With non-stop, AI-powered monitoring from Securly, anything with the slightest hint of cyberbullying or dangerous behavior is immediately red-flagged. Then, school administrators and parents are immediately and automatically alerted. And with the Parent Portal, parents can view a snapshot of all the activity on their kids’ school devices.
From our research, the numbers around cyberbullying are astounding. Out of 500,000 social media posts:
1 in 50 posts were flagged as related to drugs, profanity, cyberbullying, threats, depression, or suicide.
1 in 1,000 posts exhibited a high risk of suicide.
On average, schools face a threat of suicide every 2 weeks.
Read our white paper for the full report.
The Final Word
Social media, mobile devices, and cyberbullying aren’t going away. That’s why the world—both online and offline—can be a pretty scary place for kids right now. But that can change for the better with the right mix of education, communication, and prevention.
For more information and resources on how to stop cyberbullying, visit StopBullying.gov.