The way our kids socialise and play has changed – and bullying has changed, too. Bullying used to be in the form of playground taunts, but today kids are also being targeted through social media.
Online bullying, known as cyberbullying, can affect anyone. And Internet Matters, an organisation committed to keeping kids safe online, reveals in new research that more than six out of ten parents are concerned about cyberbullying, yet nearly four out of ten are unaware of where to go to get help.*
It can be vicious, using a combination of pictures, comments, taunts and online threats that leave a child feeling depressed and helpless. So it’s no surprise that 68% of parents think their child’s online safety is a big concern.*
The number of devices our kids have access to – from gaming consoles to smartphones, TVs, laptops and tablets – means they’re potentially vulnerable in many ways, especially when it feels almost impossible for them not to engage with the most popular social media apps for fear of being excluded from friendship groups.
Dealing with cyberbullying
All this means our response to dealing with bullying has to change too. But for many parents this can prove to be a minefield, with almost a third admitting they haven’t talked to their child about the issue.*
Yet with cyberbullying as great a concern for parents as sexting,** where can you turn to for reliable and up-to-date advice, especially when more than one-third of parents say they don’t know who can help?
Internet Matters is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to keep children’s online lives safe and fun. Backed by leading industry names, including the BBC and Google, its website is packed with invaluable advice, tips and tools to keep you one step ahead, and make a real difference to your family.
From guidance on creating a good profile for your child as they start getting into social media, to practical advice on how to protect them, Internet Matters is there to help.
None of us wants to spoil our children’s fun online, but bullying has changed and your advice should, too. So get the right information on cyberbullying, and help keep your child safe – and happy – online.
* Source: nspcc.org.uk/services-and-resources/research-and-resources/2016/childline-annual-review-2015-16-turned-out-someone-did-care/
** From an online survey of 1,500 parents with children aged 6-16, conducted by Opinion Leader for Internet Matters.