To mark #AntiBullyingWeek, we wanted to shine the spotlight onto your child’s safety online.
Ever since the rise of the internet, online forums and social media websites have unfortunately provided platforms for online bullying and abuse. Whilst certain websites put specific rules and guidelines in place to try and help their online communities remain a safe space, due to freedom of speech online, there is often very little they can do to control online bullying.
We’ve put together a few tips, with the help of Internet Matters and NSPCC, to help ensure your children remain safe online:
This is possibly one of the most important steps. Make sure you remain involved in what your children are doing online. Show a genuine interest in what they are up to and make sure they know that no topics of conversation are off limits – this will stop them from feeling too embarrassed to bring up anything negative they may have experienced.
- Check that their social profiles are private
When they’re old enough to set up social media profiles, ensure that they have their privacy settings switched on so that none of their images or information can be accessed by anyone they don’t know.
- Talk to them about cyberbullying
Make sure your children understand what counts as ‘cyber bullying’ and ask them if they’ve ever experienced it. Let them know that they can talk to you about anything anyone ever says to them online if they’re not sure what it means or if it upsets them.
- Help them understand what behavior online is unacceptable
As upsetting as it is to discover your child is being bullied online, it’s also horrifying to discover your child is the bully. Talk openly with them about what comments and actions aren’t acceptable online.
- Report inappropriate content
If you’re able to see the content for yourself, then get in contact with the social media platform and request for the content to be taken down as much as possible. Social networks are more likely to take a video down if the child involved or their parents make the report.
For more information on keeping your children safe online, please take a look at the NSPCC website.