Parenting My Teen

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5 Ways To Protect Teens From Cyberbullying

By: Aurelia Category: Parenting A Teen, Teen Emotional Health, Teen General Health

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With the advent of social media, and the rise in high technology, everyone is connecting like never before. With social networking being the main way we communicate, post recipes, or share music, the dependency of technology is shaping our everyday lives. Although face-to-fact contact is, and always will be prevalent, kids are using social media and texting throughout their daily lives more and more. Unfortunately, the Internet can’t always filter out bad behavior or crime, and bullying can take place even when two people aren’t in the same room.</p>

Raising Awareness

President Obama made October National Cyber Security Awareness Month recently, shedding light on the rise of this growing concern. The Department of Homeland Security has tips for increasing cyber security, which include: setting strong passwords and not sharing them with anyone; installing updates on an operating system, browser and other critical software; and limiting the amount of personal online information and using privacy settings.</p>
<p>Government officials called for a partnership to secure U.S. interests in cyberspace, particularly critical infrastructure, according to FCW. In early October,  Keith Alexander, Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command and National Security Agency, called on agencies to collaborate with each other and the private sector to better share information for the sake of national security.

Lock It Up

Sensitive information is also a target for cyber bullies. Someone’s bank accounts, financial information, job information, and social security information may be on their computer, and this type of information needs to be protected. By helping protect a person’s identity, services like LifeLock provide a cyber safety net. When a thief obtains personal information, these security companies supply early notifications of threats to personal identity, helps cancel and replaces contents lost in a stolen handbag or wallet, scours the Internet for the illegal distribution of  private information, verifies changes of address or information forms and more.

Knowledge is Power

The Cyberbullying Research Center provides timely  information about the nature, extent, causes and consequences of cyberbullying among adolescents. Cyberbullying is defined as “willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones and other electronic devices.”

The site http://cyberbullying.us/ provides ways adolescents use and misuse technology and is meant to be a resource for parents and others who work with youths. The site also provides numerous resources to help people prevent and respond to cyberbullying incidents. Knowing what to look for and how to respond to this growing concern among teens will be the difference between continued struggle and a brighter future. Parents should take the time to educate themselves on this topic alone, and with their kids, regardless of if their children are being bullied.

Parents should also look into the CyberBully Hotline Program. Each school within a system is given its own unique number that students can call in or text to report bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, intimidation and information on potential harmful or violent acts by others. Messages received are immediately forwarded to a designated school official or officials and can appear on their mobile device, in their email in-box and within the secure  CyberBully Hotline website.

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Having frequent discussions about online child safety is very important and will help to ward of potential online dangers. If you want information on a good internet monitoring software that is easy to use, then check out the link below: http://www.parentingmyteen.com/pc_tattletale.HTML

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