In Part I of this post I talked about what has changed–and 6 Things adults need to know about Cyberbullying. In this post I am going to talk about how to handle cyberbullying with kids you know.
1) Teach Your Children What Cyberbullying Is: First go over my original post and then talk about the lingo. Many times kids get involved in cyberbullying incidents and have no idea it goes on with other students and that it is wrong.
Impersonation: Pretending to me someone else online by sending messages, posting material, or contacting other people under another person’s name or image.
Flaming: Online fights using electronic messages such as IM’s, emails, chat comments or posts. They usually include angry and inappropriate language.
Reporting: Sharing someone’s embarassing images, secrets or private information online.
Cyber Harassment: Repeatedly sending or receiving nasty, mean and insulting messages.
Denigration: Insulting someone online by spreading gossip, rumors or posting pictures to damage their feelings, relationships or reputation.
Tricking: Tricking someone into revealing secrets or private info in a undisclosed public forum and/or revealing it other places online.
Exclusionary: Purposefully leaving people out of an online group or forum
Stalking: Repeated following or messaging.
2) Protect Your Child’s Online Reputation by setting up an RSS to their name or reporting threats to the websites they belong to. I will be releasing an ebook in the coming weeks about how to set-up a online reputation defender online.
A child should never be threatened online, they need to be aware of the threats that are flung from friends as well as strangers and they should report anything that makes them feel uncomfortable!
3) Watch Over Their Shoulder Here are some parental control softwares I like and often recommend to the families I mentor. You might want to seriously consider installing these on your home computers. I have picked a good selection below ranging from very invasive to light monitoring.
SpectorSoft This one has lots of different plans to choose from and for all different kinds of computers. I like it because if you are not computer savvy then you can call them anytime. I put this on one of my clients computers and it worked well.
PC Tattletale This one is the most comprehensive one I have ever seen. It really covers everything your child could be doing everything from blocking keywords, to email monitoring, to MySpace monitoring to keystroke records, time usage…
Safe Eyes For PCs and Macs, this has been featured in a lot of media campaigns on Internet Safety.
KidsNet Featured on ABC, this software is very simple and easy to use. They also have some bonus material about how to teach your kids about online safety as well as watching them.
4) Make Sure They Are Not A CyberBully
Bullies: People who actually do the harassing and demean or harm others.
Targets or Victims: Those who receive the insults
Enablers: Those who encourage and support the bullies who are harassing other
Harmful Bystanders: Those who know that bullying is going on, but do nothing about it.
Helpful Bystanders: Those who know bullying is going on and report it.
5) Watch for Signs of Victimization:
I think parents should always watch for changes in their children that might have to do with online relationships.
-depression, anger, sadness that is out of the ordinary
-change of behavior after internet usage
-sudden sharp increase or decrease of internet usage
-avoidance of friends, school, activities or hobbies
-decline in grades
6) Tell Them How to Stop CyberBullies:
Save the evidence, do not retaliate, file a complaint on the website, contact and adult. You can also contact the school or the bully’s parent if you know who it is. In more serious cases you can contact a lawyer or the police and file a report.