13 Ways to Keep Kids Safe from Cyberbullying

by Jul 1, 2021Safety



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You may not consider yourself particularly technically savvy, but it is important to be familiar with the social media, messaging, and game apps and sites your child uses. Your child will be less likely to talk to you about a problem if they feel like explaining the technology.

A little research to learn how these platforms work can help you anticipate potential problems before they occur and help you better deal with problems if they do occur. A quick Google search like “How does Snapchat work?” gives you lots of useful articles and videos that can help you stay better informed. The better informed you are, the more you can strategize ways to stay safe from cyberbullying.

Cyberbullies are getting more and more creative with each passing year. While there is no way to anticipate any tactics they may use, it is important to note a few in addition to basic online harassment:

  • Cyberbullies can post unflattering, embarrassing or even photoshopped photos or videos on their site to make fun of another person. Children can then share them on social media and spread the effects of bullying.
  • Cyberbullies will also create fake accounts to “troll” others anonymously, or maybe even create a fake account pretending to be their victim and sending embarrassing photos or messages.
  • Cyberbullies can also take a photo or information that was intended to be private and post it in a public forum without permission.
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Once you have taken steps to understand how social media and cyberbullying work, talk to your child about cyberbullying. Make sure they can identify cyberbullying and know what to do if they see it.

Look for examples of cyberbullying on your own feed on social media and in news stories – use it as an opportunity for you and your child to learn more about cyberbullying together. Make a point of saying “It’s cyberbullying” to allow your child to call it by name when they see it. Set a good example with your own use of social media by giving yourself healthy boundaries and models positive and respectful behavior online.

Help your children protect themselves online against cyberbullying by often reminding them to keep their personal information private and by making sure their privacy settings are as strict as possible on their various accounts. Work together to set clear rules about online behavior and set screen time limits. Have an open dialogue about what sites they use, what kind of things they post, and who they interact with online.

We all know that the more tired we get, the less inhibited we are, and the same is true for children. Setting fixed screen time limits, especially when it comes to messaging and social media apps, can help stop problems before they start. Devices like Disney Circle make it easier to prevent bullying. They help you set specific bedtimes for mobile devices, control the time your kids spend on specific apps, and filter sites you don’t want them to use.

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Cyberbullying may be happening on a screen, but its real effects are not hard to spot if you know what to look for. A child affected by cyberbullying may be withdrawn and spend more time than usual on their phone. They may have strong emotional reactions when asked to put their devices away, and they may be more moody than usual. You may also notice that they close their current social media account or create new ones and hide their device for viewing when you are nearby. If you see any of these signs, it’s time to start a conversation.

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