In today’s technological environment, almost everyone has a social media profile and must look for Social Networking Safety. On a daily basis, children as young as five have profiles, even if they aren’t supposed to. With the advent of social media comes responsibility, and problems. Adolescents and teenagers incur many situations where they have negative information or comments on their profiles and are consistent victims of cyberbullying. It’s very important to communicate the rules of internet safety with your children to help curtail this online negativity. As these situations occur, make sure you have a plan in place to deal with the situation. Before these instances happen, you may want to guide your child in taking the following precautions for Social Networking Safety:
- Make profile pages private across all social media platforms. This is very helpful, as your child will only deal with the people they know personally. If the situation happens with someone they know, it is easier to block them from their page and report them. Facebook has a policy in place that specifically deals with bullying and they do not encourage or promote negative activity.
- Not accepting any friends of friends requests unless they personally know the person, on more than just a hello and goodbye status.
- Report any unwanted activity or cyberbullying to an adult immediately.
If there is any unwanted content, contact the corporate entity to get the content removed or to find out how to do it. Most social media platforms have these vehicles in place due to the large percentage of cyberbullying that currently exists. Your child does not have to be a consistent victim of cyberbullying. Providing them with the tools they need will help alleviate these types of occurrences.
If your child has been a victim of cyberbullying, here are a few tips to communicate that will help them deal with this situation and other things that may occur during their adolescent and teen years. Equipping them with the knowledge of Social Networking Safety will help them make better choices in the future and give them the information they can use forever.
- Assess the situation.
- Take the necessary steps to resolve it.
- Evaluate the situation. Determine whether or not they did something to provoke or intensify the situation, or if it was random. If they played a part, taking responsibility is key.
- Don’t place blame.
- Do not let the situation diminish their self-esteem.
- Talk to an adult or counsellor if they need to.
You may want to direct your child to organizations that help deal with cyberbullying. There are many resources that may prove helpful. Sometimes, reading about a situation and how it was handled is enough to put things into perspective for them. Most of all, your child needs to understand that if someone they thought was their friend partakes in cyberbullying on any level, that is a friend they do not need. Cultivating good relationships is important for adolescents and teens, but it is just as important for them to be able to identify the bad from the good.
As a parent, you can research organizations that can help you with tips and suggestions on how to deal with your child and cyberbullying. Organizations such as the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) promote fighting to cyberbully and have also partnered with Facebook and Time Warner to further the cause. Kids Health also has a lot of information with statistics and national initiatives in place to figure out cyberbullying.
One of the most important things to remember is that you are not alone and can rectify negative situations. Any unwanted content on national social media sites can be effectively removed. Again, your child needs to have a plan in place to protect their social media profiles prior to this happening, with Social Networking Safety and especially if it does happen. Just as technology can be acquired with the click of a button, your profiles can be deleted and cleaned with the click of a button. Take solace in knowing that the fight against cyberbullying is not a single effort, but has become a worldwide initiative. Being proactive in preventing these situations is only part of a larger dynamic and as technology advances, expect to see more protocols in place to help alleviate cyberbullying on a wider scale. Doing these things will help promote cyber safety. With every passing day, the need for Social Networking Safety gets higher and higher.