This article was originally posted on BlogHer and written by WomenLoveTech.
I get sick in the stomach when I read about teenagers taking their own lives after extensive online bullying. Nearly 80% of kids under 10 use social media. I urge you to take cyberbullying seriously. The Internet is a great place to learn, to be entertained, to share and communicate, but not a place for bullying.
Up to 35 percent of 8 to 11 year olds have their own mobile phone, rising to 94 per cent of 16 to 17 year olds. Children and young people are increasingly gaining access to the internet via their mobiles, yet only a very small percentage have discussed cybersafety with their parents.
I hope these 21 powerful tips to prevent kids cyberbullying will guide you and will help your kids. Please share this list with them.
1. Do not respond to any cyberbullying message, block the person and tell a trusted person.
2. When you are upset, walk away from your computer or your smartphone.
3. Do not write anything against another person, one day you will regret it but it will be too late.
4. Do not share with anyone (except parents) your passwords, your BFF is not an exception.
5. Google yourself often, search your own personal information to spot cyberbullying.
6. Never do a rudie nudie on Internet, one day you will have a job, a wife, a husband and kids.
7. Always keep in mind that anything you put on the Internet such as a photo, video, text, comment or document is recorded for ever, even after deleting them.
8. Keep personal information private, the more information someone has about you, them more easily they can bully you.
9. Think before you click, always check what you are sending before you send it, think about it from the recipients point of view.
10. Use good etiquette and respect yourself and the feelings of others.
11. Learn how to block and report other profiles on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
12. Make a habit of logging out of your email or social networks when you’re finished.
13. Restrict your privacy settings on Facebook and protect your tweets.
14. Pick your friends carefully – only accept friend requests from people you know in real life.
15. It’s ok not to like or get on with someone but that doesn’t mean you are allowed to say hurtful things to them.
16. Don’t send a message to someone else when you’re angry – wait until you’ve calmed down and had time to think. Once you’ve sent it, you can’t take it back.
17. If you have been a victim of cyberbullying or any form of bullying, don’t keep it to yourself, talk to an adult you can trust.
18. Adults have more power and control than you, they can help you.
19. Discuss cybersafety with your parents.
20. If you have nothing nice to say then don’t say it.
21. If your boyfriend/girlfriend broke up with you, do not revenge on Facebook or Twitter.
While the most popular social platforms do to require all users to be at least 13 years old, research shows close half of teenagers who use networking sites admit to lying about their age. Kids are smart and usually more tech-savvy than you. If they don’t want you to know what they’re up to, they’ll find a way.