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

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

Internet Safety and Cyberbullying

By: Mary Lutz Category: Parenting A Teen

While it isn’t as unheard of now as it was several years ago, there are still many parents who don’t know what cyberbullying is. The reason why so many parents are in the dark about this issue is because most of these parents grew up in a time before the technological era. Or, they are part of the generation of people who were born in the early 1980s and weren’t exposed much to technology before they graduated high school.
Parents that fall into these two groups didn’t have to worry about bullying through technology. Instead, they were picked on (aka – bullied) at school and then they came home. Bullying during those days meant being bullied at school or places outside the home. However, traditional bullying has turned into “cyberbullying” since technology has taken off.

Cyberbullying is any form of communication that occurs through a technological device from one minor to another minor that does one or more of the following: harasses, embarrasses, hurts, belittles or threatens. Basically, it is the traditional form of bullying, except it happens on the internet through social networking sites, email, instant messaging, chat rooms or through cell phones via text messages.
What makes cyberbullying more dangerous than the bullying of generations past is the fact that children can’t get away from it – not even at home. The way kids communicate is through their cell phones and computers. This form of communication may seem silly to adults, but to kids it’s their “lifeline” to their friends, which is why they can’t just “turn it off.”

Cyberbullying can be done by one person through direct contact or can happen in a public format where there are many individuals involved. There have been cases reported where adults have been involved, but in a true cyberbullying case there are no adults. Just like with all bullying, cyberbullying can be the root of a lot of major issues found in children. These include anger, feeling shame, embarrassment, withdrawal, depression, lack of self-confidence and even suicide.

Due to the negative consequences cyberbullying can cause and the fact that it occurs over the internet in most cases, parents need to talk to their kids about internet safety and what they should do if they experience it. In addition to talking to your kids about internet safety and cyberbullying, parents should monitor their kids’ internet usage and the websites they frequently visit. There is computer software available to help you do this.

Finally, most kids won’t report cyberbullying if they experience it. Therefore, it is important that you watch your children closely and look for signs that something is wrong. A few common signs that your child may be the victim of cyberbulling include: a reduction in online communication, hiding online communications or text messages, being noticeably upset after texting or being online, dropping grades and being suddenly withdrawn from others.

For further information and how you can protect your child while on the internet and from cyberbullying, click here!