With the explosion of technology, cyberbullying has risen dramatically in recent years, therefore we present you with a Parent’s Guide to Cyberbullying Facts. Many people, including children, are increasingly spending their time socializing through text messaging and online interactions. Cyberbullying is basically defined as the intent to harm another individual through the internet and information technology. The intent may be to intimidate, control, or humiliate. The actions are usually repeated and deliberate. According to i-SAFE, an internet safety foundation, more than 25 percent of children and teens have been repeated victims of bullying through the Internet or cell phones. Girls tend to be victims more often than boys. All parents need to educate themselves regarding bully and know the signs of cyberbullying. Even if a parent doesn’t think their child is bullying or being bullied, learning the facts about this growing problem is a preventative measure that every parent should take for the protection of their children. Learn and pass on this Parent’s Guide to CyberBullying.

Traditional Bullying Versus Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is much more difficult to combat due to the often anonymous nature of the attacks. This, unfortunately, causes many of these bullies to become bolder since many children and adults will say and do things anonymously that they wouldn’t do if people knew who they were. Most bullying of this sort, almost 70 percent, occurs through instant messaging. The rest is done through a combination of email, text messaging, chat rooms and websites. Cyberbullying in many aspects is much worse than traditional bullying. Once a photo or message goes viral, literally millions of people can see it and download it before it can be removed.

The Signs

There are many signs of being bullied online, and not every child exhibits the same signs. The following are some behaviours a parent can look for. A child may show a sudden lack of interest in school work and extracurricular activities. The child might show an interest in harming himself or even in suicide. They may discuss revenge and ways of getting even with other people. The child might quickly exit whatever he is doing online when someone walks by. They may avoid talking about what they are doing online and get angry if asked about it. A child might get nervous and distracted easily, have difficulty sleeping, or have a loss of appetite. Sometimes a child may even fear leaving the house.

The Signs of Being a Cyberbully

A parent learning that his or her own child is a cyberbully can be devastating. It may be too painful for some parents to face, or, unfortunately, some parents are bullies themselves and may have inadvertently passed this behaviour onto their children. But this is an issue that parents need to address. When confronted with the possibility that a child may be an online bully, parents need to quickly separate fact from emotion. If someone else brings this to a parent’s attention, instead of automatically and angrily defending the child, a parent needs to ask if there is factual evidence available that shows the child has been a bully. If the parents suspect on their own that their child is bullying, there are signs the parents need to look out for. Having several online accounts or having accounts using a fake name is an indication that a child may be a cyberbully. Using disposable phones that can’t be traced is also a possible sign of being a bully. A bully will often click out of whatever he or she is on when someone is around. Frequent use late at night is another sign of possible cyberbullying.