Thursday, November 19, 2015

How to Protect Our Kids from Cyberbullying

The internet is a very helpful and widely used communication/information tool nowadays. Even kids have access to internet. They chat to connect with friends and use social media to express themselves. With this, they are exposed to cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is on the rise and it can happen any time of the day.

What is CyberbullyingCyberbullying is a specific form of bullying that is committed via online. Here’s what creates cyberbullying.

The legal definition: “threats or other offensive behavior sent online to a victim or sent or posted online about the victim for others to see.”
The kid-speak definition: “sending mean or hurtful text messages, instant messages, email, tweets, photos, and so on.”

Everyone who is using the internet is actually vulnerable to cyberbullying, and can be a victim. It can be us or our kids.

My son at 5 already knows how to use smartphone and tablet. I let him use a tablet one in a while, like every Saturday night. I always make sure that whenever he uses the tablet, I am there or his dad to supervise him. Or if I cannot watch over him, I will disconnect the tablet to the internet. Just to assure he will not open any application that would expose him to online predators.

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But I know this is just the beginning because soon my son will be more expose to the use of internet. I cannot prevent him from using the net for it will be a useful tool for his studies. But I know I can protect him from cyberbullying and online predators.

Here are ways to protect our kids from cyberbullying.

Have an open communication with our kids.

Open communication with our kids is very important. Let them feel we are always there to listen and we won’t judge them. It’s also important to earn their trust so they will feel free to open up what and how they feel, and what they are going through.

Educate our kids.

We should educate them about the risk of using internet and what Cyberbullying is. Set aside a few minutes to talk about cyberbullying and how it’s happening. By explaining them what constitutes Cyberbullying, we should also instill with them not to be a cyberbully too.

Listen to our kids.

Always take time to listen to our kids, especially when they are casually mentioning incidence of cyberbullying, or any alarming internet activities.

Pay attention.

Pay attention with our kids’ behavior or activities. Any changes may signal their distress. That may include withdrawal from family and friends, or behavioral change like always being angry or moody. If you have teens, these things can be normal but they might be crying for help also. That’s why it’s important that we pay attention to these signals for these may be signs that something not good is going on.

Get involved.

Aside from paying attention with your kids’ behavior and activities, get involved with them as well. Sometimes communication is not enough because there might be instances that they will not tell us. We should do also our own research like who are their friends and what social activities they are doing. We should find out what are the social media they are using, and follow them. For sure they will object that but we can set that as a condition for them to use the internet.

Set limits and conditions.

When we already know what social media they are using, we must insists to let give their passwords. Thus we can make occasional spot-check on their inbox and chats. Also, restrict internet gadget usage to after dinner use and to use it when we are around. Not behind closed doors that is.

But if we want the best way to monitor our kids’ online activities, we can install Innovative Web Content Filtering Software like Familoop Safeguard.

Familoop Safeguard is a smart parental control software that we can use to protect and manage our kids’ online life. This is a helpful tool to timely detect online threats like communicating with strangers or cyberbullying.

Familoop Safeguard is launching on November 27, 2015 and meanwhile they offer parents to opt-in early and get an incredible 60% discount when Familoop Safeguard is launched. Great right?

As parents, we cannot always watch our kids but through the above ways, we can protect and prevent them from being a cyberbully victim. 
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