Internet safety tips from the Ascentive team
As long as there have been schools, there have been bullies, and the Internet has created a whole new playground for them. Cyberbullying is now increasing at an alarming rate. Net Nanny ( http://www.netnanny.com ) encourages parents to take precautions to prevent cyberbullying, and when it occurs, to act quickly and decisively.
Most parents know that when a bullying incident occurs with their child, they should address it immediately. In the case of cyberbullying, online tools are now available to alert parents the moment something happens so they can react in real-time. When parents are alerted that their child may be the target of cyberbullying by a program such as Net Nanny, they should immediately follow these five guidelines:
1. Address it immediately. Speak frankly and openly about the incident with your child to get all the details possible. Ask direct and detailed questions.
2. Uncover the history. Determine if this is the first time for the incident or if it has been an on-going problem.
3. Understand your child’s feelings. Get a clear understanding of how your child feels. Are they just annoyed or are they scared, feeling threatened, or even contemplating extreme and dangerous actions such as retaliation or suicide
4. Create a plan together. Work with your child to determine how they (or you together) should deal with the cyberbullying. Your plan might be to include school officials in dealing with the issue, change user names and passwords for your child’s online activities, calling and speaking with parents of the offending bully and watching your child carefully for changes in behavior.
5. Consider professional help. If the incident warrants it, do not hesitate to get professional medical help or counseling for your child, and if you suspect any kind of criminal act or predator activity against your child, contact your local law enforcement agency.
“Email, websites, chat and social media are the places where cyberbullying usually occurs,” said Russ Warner, ContentWatch/Net Nanny CEO. “You can have a great relationship with your child, put in place many safety measures and do everything you can to protect them, but the bottom line is, you can’t stop their online activity. And when an incident occurs, parents need to act very quickly to help them and prevent future incidents. These five guidelines will certainly help.”
Net Nanny believes bullying in all its forms treads on the rights of children to attend school in a safe and secure environment, free from negative threats or discrimination. As cyberbullying increases with the proliferation of online social networks, Net Nanny believes parents, school officials, government agencies and corporations have a responsibility to do all they can to protect the rights of school children.