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Cyberbullying on Sports Teams: It Happens More Than You Think

By Tim Woda on December 8, 2014 at 12:58 PM

The threat of cyberbullying isn't limited to any one group of kids. Students in the chess club are just as likely to be a victim of cyberbullying as students on the football team. If you don't believe that, then take a look at the story below. 

KTTC News reported a case of cyberbullying at a local high school in Minnesota. In this case, members of the football team were caught engaging in cyberbullying. Here are some points from the case:

  • Football coaches at Southwest High School heard about instances of cyberbullying

  • Several players who engaged in cyberbullying were benched for a must-win game

  • The principal of the high school said cyberbullying can be more damaging than traditional bullying

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Cyberbullying: What is it and What Can You Do About it?

By Steven Woda on October 28, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Cyberbullying is more than just the latest negative trend to sweep through our communities. It has not only caught on like wildfire, but it seems to be here to stay. Current statistics state that approximately 43% of kids report being bullied online at some point in their adolescence, 1 in 4 report it occurring more than once. Studies also say that 68% of teens agree that it is has become a serious problem. 

So, what is cyberbullying? Cyberbullying has been defined as 'bullying that takes place using electronic technology.' But what does this actually entail? Cyberbullying can come in many different forms and use many different methods. Cyberbullying occurs through the use of a cell phone, computer, or tablet. Methods can vary from a cyberbully using social media sites (such as Facebook or Twitter), text messages (whether group or individual), chat programs, or websites.  

The internet never sleeps, which means cyberbullying can occur 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It can reach a child during school breaks, at night, or even when they are alone. As with all things on the internet, it can spread quickly and can be extremely complicated to track down the original offender. Deleting the offensive materials can also prove to be especially difficult once they have been posted.

As a parent, cyberbullying can be a daunting issue, especially if you're not tech-savvy. How do you, as a parent, go about handling such a problem? Here are some tips to help you wade through the topic at hand.

Make your child feel safe and secure. Sure, this sounds easy enough but it is the first step to getting the situation under control. Your child needs to know that you fully support them and are dedicated to the same end result - getting the bullying to stop. 

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Cyberbullying Laws Around the Globe: Where is Legislation Strongest?

By Tim Woda on October 16, 2014 at 7:56 PM

Cyberbullying has become a major problem in this world. Over the past decade, this type of bullying has claimed the lives of many children and adolescents across the globe. It is estimated that half of adolescents have been the victims of cyberbullying. An astonishing one in three children and teens have been victims of online cyberthreats.

The statistics are startling, but not all hope is lost. Because cyberbullying has become such a damaging and deadly issue, lawmakers have created cyberbullying laws to help protect victims from online bullies and to bring these bullies to justice. 

There are several states, countries, and territories across the globe that have implemented strong and seemingly effective cyberbullying laws. Although some locations are prepared to crack down on cyberharassment, others are still catching up with the times. View our list displaying countries and states with strong, average, and loose cyberbullying laws.

The strongest cyberbullying laws in the world:

  • Canada- Under the Education Act, individuals who engage in cyberbullying face suspension from school. Repeat bullies may also face expulsion and possible jail time.

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Taking a Stand: October is National Bullying Prevention Month

By Tim Woda on October 8, 2014 at 7:57 PM

Long gone are the days when bullying solely consisted of having your lunch money swiped, receiving "swirlies" in the bathroom, having a "kick me" sign taped to your back, and being tripped in the hallway. With the big part that social media now plays in our daily lives, bullying continues past the ringing of the 3:00pm school bell. Though many instances of bullying are no longer face-to-face, it is becoming more severe and parents need to become aware of this. 

With October being National Bullying Prevention Month, now is the perfect time to talk to your children about bullying. Some parents may think that with better security systems being implemented in schools across the nation, bullying is becoming less of a concern. However, that is far from reality.

According to Harrison Daily, "An estimated 13 million students are bullied annually."

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New Anti-Cyberbullying Bill: Will it Change How Bullies are Charged?

By Tim Woda on April 29, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Recently, the state of Florida is moving to extend and add some teeth to its anti-cyberbullying law. The new legislation is inspired by the suicide of a 12-year-old girl Rebecca Ann Sedwick after having been alleged to have been cyberbullies by two other girls, who remain unidentified because they are minors, in the town of Lakeland. The Florida state Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice has advanced the bill.

Currently cyberbullying is a crime in Florida, but there are no criminal penalties attached. The proposed legislation would align cyberbullying with the physical kind. It would make both cyberbullying and physical bullying a second degree misdemeanor and aggravated cyberbullying a first degree misdemeanor, subject to a jail term of up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000.

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Kindergarten Girl Becomes Victim of Cyberbullying After Walmart Trip

By Steven Woda on April 1, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Unfortunately, cyberbullies don't discriminate when it comes to the ages of their victims. Read below to learn about how a 6-year-old's trip to Walmart ended disastrously. This article was originally published on WMBF News and was written by Nikki Davidson.

SENECA, SC (FOX Carolina) -

An Upstate family is outraged and looking for answers after they say their kindergartner became the victim of cyberbullying.

The family says it all started at the Seneca Walmart, when the young girl's picture was snapped by another customer. They say the man then posted it online to social media as a joke.

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Mobile Game Developers Join The Fight Against Cyberbullying

By Tim Woda on February 26, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Kids around the world are touched by cyberbullying every single day. Whether they are the victims, the witnesses, or the bullies themselves, children are constantly coming face to face with this epidemic. As school districts, lawmakers, and parents continue to search for ways to combat this increasingly dangerous issues, mobile developers have also decided to join the fight against cyberbullying.

According to Gamesbeat, the game developer, Pixelberry Studios, has added an episode to its High School Story game that centers around cyberbullying. Oliver Miao, the Chief Executive Officer of Pixelberry, explained that the studio created “Hope's Story,” to supply guidance to teens on the issue of cyberbullying, and to introduce them to tools, such as Cybersmile, which is a resource that helps victims of bullying.

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Building Better Digital Citizens

By Tim Woda on February 23, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Co-Authored By HILARY SCHNEIDER, President of LifeLock, Inc. Originally published on the Huffington Post. 

Smart decision-making online is as important as looking both ways before crossing the street. The U.S. recognized its first official Safer Internet Day on February 11, led by ConnectSafely.org. With continued proliferation of the use of technology, the day marked an important time to celebrate and reflect on the role technology plays in our lives. It also stimulated discussion on the significance of encouraging safe, effective use of the Internet, social media and mobile devices, particularly among children and teens.

Research shows that among families with children age 8 and under, ownership of tablet devices has risen from 8 percent to 40 percent in just two years. Between 2011 and 2013, the amount of time children spent using mobile devices tripled. Additionally, 90 percent of teens report that they have used some form of social media and nearly 50 percent indicate that they have a smartphone.

At the same time, parents have expressed concern about how their children manage their online reputation. Nearly 70 percent of parents indicate that they are concerned about how their children's online activity might affect future academic or employment opportunities.

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Cyberbullying: Should the Buck Stop at School?

By Tim Woda on February 21, 2014 at 12:57 PM

What is the appropriate course of action for schools and cyberbullying? There may not be a right answer, but here is one administrators opinion. This article was originally posted on BlogHer. 

If your child is getting cyberbullied, what can you do to help? Would you call on your child’s school to unravel the complicated drama that inevitably ensues with a bullying incident? Is school the best authority over these matters?

Bullying has become a wholly different thing than it was perhaps when you were bullied in your youth. Back in the day (meaning the pre-cell phone, pre-social media era) if your group of on-again-off-again friends decided you were off-again, they got together at lunch time and sat at a different table where there was no room for you. Or they told your boy-crush that you were crushing hard on him even though you swore them to secrecy. You suffered the day in school and maybe, if it happened to be on a Friday, your so-called friends had a sleepover without you and called you up to let you know that they were all at the ring leader’s house ... and you weren’t. Your angst, anger and hurt was extended all the way through a pint of ice cream, but not much past the weekend, as your friends remembered that your group science project was at your house and it was due on Monday. So they got over their funk, and you got over your hurt. Everyone remembered why you became friends in the first place as you finished your project together. And all was well again. (Did I just tell way too much about my middle school self? Well, perhaps, but you get the point ... )

This pain and misery lasted a day, maybe two. Nowadays, with the help of technology, bullying has taken on a whole new character that is meaner, wider spread and longer lasting. Kids are hijacking the social media of others and saying harmful things in their stead. They are posting derogatory and hurtful comments on Facebook and Formspring. They are spreading unauthorized photos and video far and wide on cell phones and the Internet.

And with an impact that is so much more profound, before parents can even help their children deal with the pain, alienation and the utter blow to their self-esteem, they just want to know how to

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Meet the 13-Year-Old Using Social Media Data to Map Cyberbullying

By Tim Woda on February 14, 2014 at 1:44 PM

According to the Cyberbullying Research Center:

“about one out of every four teens has experienced cyberbullying, and about one out of every six teens has done it to others.”

The Center has also found that victims of cyberbullying are nearly twice as likely to attempt suicide than youth who have not experienced cyberbullying.

The overwhelmingly widespread nature of online bullying, its potentially fatal consequences and the lack of control held by adults to stop this behaviour has made this an extremely difficult problem to solve. However, 13 year old Indian American teen Viraj Puri may have found the solution for this complex issue.

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Submit The Documentary: Education on The Reality of Cyberbullying

By Steven Woda on February 9, 2014 at 12:20 PM

“If what was going on online was happening in the real world, there would be people marching. There would be social change.” - Mary Kay Hoal, Submit The Documentary

Submit The Documentary is an honest and heartbreaking film that focuses on the raw reality of cyberbullying and the effects it has on America's youth. After watching a news story that reported on the suicide of an 11-year-old boy, director Les Ottolenghi saw the need to encourage parents and their children to stand tall and fight against this epidemic of online bullying.

Production on the film began in 2011 and focused on gathering the perspectives of experts, school administrators, children of various ages, and parents of the victims whose lives were cut short. Each interview supplies the documentary's audience with substantial insight on the truths that surround society's efforts to fight cyberbullying.

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Cyberbullying: The Face Behind the Screen

By Tim Woda on February 2, 2014 at 2:14 PM

This article was originally published on Psychology Today by Raychelle Cassandra Lohmann.

Laura sat at her laptop still steaming mad from the incident that had happened earlier with Michelle.  "I'll show her!" she thought.  Just then, Laura had an idea...  "I can set up a bogus email account and create a fake Facebook page.  I'll put Michelle in her place without her even knowing who did it."  After a setting up her new identity, Laura became "Julie".  Pleased with herself Julie launched a full blown cyber attack on her once friend Michelle.  "See if she ever messes with me again", Julie laughed.  On the other end of the computer, Michelle sat with her mouth gaping open.  She couldn't believe what she was reading.  "Who's Julie?" she thought.  "What did I do to her?"  Michelle's heart was beating fast and tears began to stream down her face. 

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How To Combat Cyberbullying In Online Games

By Tim Woda on January 27, 2014 at 10:13 AM

While “lives” can be gained and lost with the click of a button in the online gaming world, everyday real-world lives are being affected by the things that happen in games. Recently the developers of the game, High School Story, made news by adding a cyberbullying storyline into the game. This was done after a call came into their technical helpline that included a player saying she was thinking about taking her own life. Taking into account the competitive nature of games, it is easy (just as in real world games and athletics) for things to escalate into bullying.

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Cyberbullying: Teens Speak Out

By Steven Woda on December 23, 2013 at 11:34 AM

The following article was originally posted on the Huffington Post by Dr. G. 

Is bullying getting worse? Studies show that more kids and parents are reporting bullying, but even more concerning is higher rates of kids surveyed anonymously say they don't report bullying. The most concerning trend is that kids involved in bullying are more likely than ever to commit suicide. Kids are, as a group, probably no meaner now than in generations past. So what is the problem?

Access.

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The Latest Mobile Cyberbullying Tactic of Teens: Text Bombing

By Steven Woda on November 23, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Earlier this month, a 15-year old from St. Petersburg, FL was arrested for sending “hundreds of threatening text messages” over the course of eight days to former friends. Some were even death threats. The suspect used a smartphone app called Kik Messenger, which happens to be the cyberbullying app du jour, also used in the Rebecca Ann Sedwick cyberbullying case that contributed to her suicide. Kik allows users to send text messages from an Internet Desk Top to cell phones.

The tactic is called “text bombing”

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The Best Answer to Cyberbullying We've Seen Yet

By Steven Woda on October 6, 2013 at 3:40 PM

This article was originally published in the Huffington Post by Sue Scheff.

It's a truth universally acknowledged: kids tune out their parents. They don't tune out other kids, though; we all remember hanging on an admired peer's every word when we were young.

Since so much of students' lives together take place in various nooks and crannies of the Internet, let's look at how teens can help each other out, making their social lives more satisfying and trouble-free by being cyber-shields for each other.

I've written about how both parents and teachers can play a pivotal role as cyber-shields to ensure a safe online life for their children by putting on their advisory hat and, when needed, shielding their kids from harm. We should also encourage children to act as social media role models for each other: friend-to-friend, sibling-to-sibling.

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Check Out This Awesome Video for a Little Joy in the Face of Bullies

By Steven Woda on September 27, 2013 at 1:00 PM

With all of the tragic news surrounding the tragic suicide of Rebecca Ann Sedwick attributed to cyberbullies, we thought you might need a little joy in your life.

Watch this uplifting video about a brother who wants nothing more but to see the bullies stop messing with his sister. 

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Download uKnowKids' Newest eBook Now!

By Tim Woda on September 17, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Your child has likely started back to school, which means new pens, pencils, binders and textbooks, but it also means new opportunities for digital dangers and threats. Is your child prepared to handle the back to school battle of juggling technology and learning? Are they prepared to combat cyberbullying or sexting pressures? 

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Ask.fm Responds to Cyberbullying Controversy

By Steven Woda on August 19, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Ask.fm has been a hot topic among many outlets the past few weeks because of its terrible tendency to enable cyberbullies. Apparently, the company has listened to protesters and victims calling for action. The online social networking site has responded to the cyberbullying controversy by implementing new safety measures. 

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Peer Pressure to Curb Cyberbullying

By Tim Woda on June 25, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Cyberbullying is an issue most parents are new to.  How do you deal with and battle this digital-age problem?

Unfortunately, there is no policy or procedure manual for this issue.  Parents often times look to the schools for assistance in battling cyberbullying.  One method some schools and parents have found to be effective is utilizing the idea of peer pressure.  Peer pressure can be a great and moving tool when it is used for the greater good.  Teachers use peer pressure in their classrooms in order to manage the classroom.  A way they use it is giving the students in the classroom the forum to pressure their peers into turning their work in on time, quieting, and following the procedures of the classroom effectively and appropriately.

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