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Friday, December 4, 2009

Tips to Prevent Cyber Bullying


For many parents who did not grow up with the Internet, learning how to parent digital kids is a constant struggle. One of the biggest threats for pre-teens and teens on the internet is cyberbullying – repeated verbal abuse by classmates through instant messages, emails, and social networking sites. What makes cyberbullying so dangerous is that adults can’t see or hear the abuse, so cyberbullies go unpunished and victims are left to face the threats alone. In fact, only one out of ten children tells their parents if they are threatened online. (source: Journal of School Health)

While representatives in Congress are trying to push through bills to protect children from cyberbullying, there are steps parents can take right now to prevent their children from being involved in these attacks. Ellen Ohlenbusch, mom and president of McGruff SafeGuard (http://www.gomcgruff.com/), a company that provides free software to help parents monitor and supervise their children’s activity online, has put together 10 tips for moms to keep their children safe from cyberbullying.

TOP 10 TIPS FOR PREVENTING CYBER BULLYING
By Ellen Ohlenbusch, President of McGruff SafeGuard (http://www.gomcgruff.com/)

1. Keep computers in an open area – not in a child’s bedroom

2. Tell kids to keep passwords safe, private and difficult to guess – no pet names as passwords!

3. Don’t allow your child to maintain multiple accounts with alias names

4. Teach children to respect others online, as they would in person

5. Discuss bullying and the emotional impact it creates

6. Discuss what content is and is not appropriate to share online

7. Tell kids that what they post online is “out there” forever – they can’t control how other people will use their photos or information

8. Discuss how ‘piling’ on is not appropriate. That while they may not start something, if they see cyber bullying happening, they should not contribute.

9. Set a clear standard/example for your children to follow

10. Install a parental monitoring software that sends email alerts if cyberbullying is detected. McGruff SafeGuard offers free software to help parents supervise their children online at; http://www.gomcgruff.com/.

2 comments:

Theta Mom said...

What great tips! Parents really need to be aware of the potential "dangers." Thank you so much for the follow from twittermoms. Google friend connect still won't let me sign in. :( As soon as it does, I will follow! Look forward to blogging with ya!

Sandie Lee said...

Thanks Theta Mom. I popped over to your Blog as well. It's awesome. I love your layout :)

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