How to Know and What to Do When Your Child is Being Cyberbullied

This article originally appeared on FoxBusiness.com, writen by Kate Rogers.

Teasing used to be limited to school recess on the playground, but now it has evolved into a malicious trend among youths on the internet.

As technology advances and more children are using it, they are increasingly exposed to cyberbullies on social networking sites like Facebook (FB) and Twitter, and texting and apps on phones and tablets. And the consequences can be devastating. For some children being targeted, like 12-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick in Miami, they see no other way out of this cruel cyber world, than to take their own lives.

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Pew Research Center Study -- Teens, Social Media, and Privacy

This is one study that all parents (and all people in general, really) need to check out! It is all about teens, social media and privacy and has great facts on what teens post, what social media sites they use the most, what areas they are concerned about while online, and much more. This study is full of great information. The more you know, the better equipped you will be to keep your kid's safe!    

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New Research: Online Predators Not Distinctly Dangerous Sex Offenders

Check out this very interesting study done by the University of New Hampshire on the dangerousness of online predators. What are your thoughts?

Original article taken from Fosters.com.

A new University of New Hampshire study challenges the view that online predators are a distinctly dangerous variety of sex offender, requiring special programs to protect youth.

The study from the UNH Crimes against Children Research Center finds that sex offenders who target teens increasingly use Internet and cell phone communications to lure teens into sexual relationships. In crimes that involve such communications, offenders who meet and recruit youth online operate in much the same way as offenders who meet and know youth in ordinary offline environments.

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Cyber-bullying, Sexting Can Affect Males and Females Differently

Read this piece from The Hays Daily News that brings up a great point that cyberbullying and sexting can affect males and females differently.

This is the seventh in a series about abuse and violence in adolescent dating and romantic relationships.

Q: What is the relationship between teen dating violence and abuse and technology?

 The following article is based on a 2009 digital abuse study co-sponsored by MTV and the Associated Press. A total of 1,247 respondents ages 14 to 24 participated in an online survey. Digital abuse includes dating abuse and cyber-bullying. The latter term is defined as the use of electronic communication for the purpose of harming another person. Cyber-bullying includes digital communications to manipulate, intimidate, falsely discredit or humiliate other persons. Cyber-stalking is the form of cyber-bullying that involves repeated patterns of cyber-bullying or cyber-harassment. Sexting is a more specific type of digital abuse in which one person sends explicit sexual pictures or messages from one cell or mobile phone to another. All these digital abuses can be found in online dating violence and abuse.

Of the people interviewed (ages 14 to 24), 50 percent reported experiencing digital abuse. Among the teens, girls were more likely to have been targeted than boys at the rate of 53 percent to 42 percent, respectively. The respondents in the survey stated the most common types of digital abuse they experienced were spreading lies (online and in text messages), violation of trust and digital disrespect, mean messages online and in texts.

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The Connection Between Sexting and Suicide

Here is a very interesting and shocking article in Psychology Today by Elizabeth Meyer, Ph.D about sexting and suicide.  Even though it is from 2009, most of the article still rings true, and unfortunately not much has been done to help victims of sexting cases that got out of hand and the bullying/cyberbullying that almost always follows.

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Cyberbullying Crossword Puzzle for Kids

By Sameer Hinduja and Justin W. Patchin

A crossword puzzle to be distributed to youth to promote discussion about cyberbullying.

A look at the clues, download the PDF here:

ACROSS

5. Acronym for the company that provides an Internet connection to individuals or companies.

6. Short for “World Wide Web” or pages linked together via the Internet

7. A wireless handheld device which allows for telephone communications.

10. Interactive web journal or diary, the contents of which are posted online and then viewable by some or all individuals.

11. An electronic device that stores and processes information and also facilitates electronic communication when connected to a network. 

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The 10 Most Used Cyberbullying Tactics

No one wants to see their child being bullied. As bullying becomes more and more prevalent in the media, it has become obvious that bullying no longer just takes on the "Steal your lunch money" tactics of past generations

Cyberbullying is, in many ways, more intense than in-person bullying. Cyberbullying acutely targets a child's insecurities, making the emotional and psychological bruises far more permanent than the traditional punch or swirly. Cyberbullying allows bullies to feel anonymous, freeing them up to say harsher, more pervasive things than they might say in person. Cyberbullies generally face fewer consequences- unlike in a traditional school context, there are no adults monitoring for signs of abuse on a regular basis, so unless a parent, guardian, or school official is tipped off to the problem, it can go unpunished for a substantial amount of time. 

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Digital Parenting: Kid-Centric Home Security

With the advancements in technology these days, it almost seems as if parents can be everywhere at once. Indeed, digital parenting is completely possible with monitoring systems directed toward your child's cell phone and computer usage and their online, gaming and social networking history.

As a recent uKnowKids post pointed out, you can even add location monitoring to your child's smartphone that not only lets you know where they are throughout the day, but it also could mean the difference between survival and tragedy in the event of an abduction.

Certainly, the willingness to take proactive measures to protect your children doesn't make you a panicked and frightened person – it makes you a good parent. And although you don't want to dwell on the possibility of someone kidnapping your child, one of the toughest parts of the gig is addressing unthinkable events before they happen so that you are prepared if they ever do occur. That's why you teach your children about the dangers of strangers – not to instill a fear of those they don't know, but to equip them to function in the real world.

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Cyber Bullying is a Bigger Problem Than You Think

Growing up is hard. Everyone acknowledges the difficulty we have as adolescents in social environments, especially school. The internet has opened the doors to a new level of pain for many individuals, known as bullying and cyberbullying.

Prior to the creation of the internet a bully was the kid that would pick fights and generally demean others. It was done to be hurtful, with no justification. The age of the internet and texting has given rise to a new type of bully, the process if known as cyberbullying and is just as harmful, if not more so, than those school yard bullies of old. 

Cyberbullying is generally accepted to be the deliberate and repeated actions of an individual or group with the use of communication technology to hurt another person. This can be in the form of harassment, threats, malicious comments, and much more.

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Online Predators -- Are They Still a Threat?

A few years ago there was an extremely disturbing reality TV show called “To Catch A Predator.” The show was all about luring and then capturing men, who thought that they were meeting underage children for the purpose of sex. The show was taken off the air in 2008, but sent a chilling message to parents.  The sexual predator has evolved and is no longer wandering around playgrounds with a bag of candy.  They have become highly sophisticated internet experts, hanging-out online and infiltrating the sites where your children go.  But is the online predator a threat?

Statistics

  • A recent survey that was carried out about internet predators, and asked over 1000 children aged between 10 and 17 concluded that:

  • A figure of one in thirty three children had been asked to meet someone secretly.

  • Just under a quarter of all child targets were aged 10 to 13.

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Blog Series: What Does Digital Parenting Mean to You?

As part of an on-going blog series that begins today, we have interviewed some internet safety experts, parenting experts and industry leaders and are pleased to present our findings. Our questions centered around 'digital parenting' and what people thought were the biggest issues regarding this subject.  

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At What Age is Facebook For Kids Appropriate?

Facebook has taken off in popularity so fast that many parents are left trying to keep up with this craze. Many parents have reported that their kids understand more about the Internet then they do, and this has meant that many parents are having difficultly controlling their kid's online behavior. 

The behavior of kids online can also be difficult to rule over because of the fact that the Internet is becomming more and more accessible. Even if the parent chooses to put up certain parental blocks on their computers at home, there is no guarantee that this will keep the child from doing whatever they please on a friend's computer or on a public computer, perhaps even one at their school. 

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Does Your Homeowner's Insurance Cover Cyberbullying?

You may not have thought about it a lot, but the company that covers your homeowners insurance is very concerned about cyberbullying and liability issues that could arise with a lawsuit. As the world moves quickly toward establishing dual identities in both the “real world” and online communities such as Facebook, Twitter, You Tube or gaming systems like Xbox 360, new legal liability issues are escalating.

Cyberbullying incidents are reported to be quickly on the rise, and the insurance industry is scrambling to determine risk for an issue that did not exist ten years ago. While personal injury riders do exist as a part of standard homeowners or umbrella coverage, cyberbullying is still considered to be a “gray area” of coverage by most companies while the courts have already begun to sort the issue out.

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9 Things Parents Should Know About Twitter

Twitter is gaining popularity among teens, and it's different from other social networks in a lot of significant ways. If Facebook is like an after-school hangout, then Twitter is like scanning all of their favorite newspapers and magazines – as well as picking up  the latest school gossip. Here are 9 things parents should know about teenage Twitter use.

  1. There is no minimum age to sign up for Twitter.

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Cyberbullying Statistics: The News Every Parent Will Want to Hear

Out of every one hundred tweens and teens, how many do you think are cyberbullied? Twenty? Forty? Sixty? Actually, new research suggests that the actual figure may be much lower than we think. 

A new presentation of the results of two studies to the American Psychological Association this week shows that only 15% of kids were actually cyberbullied. The two studies surveyed a total of 5,000 teens.

Most of you reading this will think this is an impossibly low figure. We hear about cyberbullying every single day. It is all over our schools and in the news. How can a 15% figure be realistic at all?

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Cyberbullying Infographic Correction

uKnowKids recently released a few cyberbullying statistics which were displayed through an infographic titled "The Truth About Cyberbullying". Our intention was to provide parents with some information and statistics from last year related to the growing issue of cyberbullying.

Thanks to Nancy Willard and a SAMHSA (The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) taskforce we have noticed that one of the statistics was miscatorgized and thus misrepresented a very important statistic. The original inforgraphic claimed that 97% of middle school aged teenagers have been cyberbullied. The intended statistic should have shown that 97% of teens have access to the internet and according to the NCPC "Stop Cyberbullying Before It Starts" 43% of teens have experienced some sort of cyberbullying behavior online. 

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Sexting: Children Are Growing Up Too Quickly

Children in today’s society have a lot of pressure on them and are having to grow up too quickly.  It’s unfortunate that they can’t enjoy their childhood without being pressured into doing things they normally wouldn’t do.  When I was growing up, I of course had peer pressure but a different kind than kids have today. 

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How Do You Feel About Parental Monitoring?

When you think about parental monitoring, what are some of the first words that come to mind? I recently read a Canadian study that noted the general change in the way parents have come to view the Internet:

  • 2000: parents were enthusiastic about the opportunities the Internet would bring to their children.

  • 2004: the Internet had become a source of frustration for parents, who felt that their kids were wasting time online when they should be doing schoolwork; they reported spending too much time fighting about, limiting, and managing their kids' Internet consumption.

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10 Ways Your Child is Cyberbullying (Without Knowing It)

What? My child? A cyberbully? Never...

It's easier to believe that your tween or teen could be a victim of cyberbullying than to believe that they could actually be engaging in cyberbullying behavior.

But statistics show that cyberbullied children are also likely to be cyberbullies themselves, at least some of the time. It may be in order to get revenge or completely unintentional. Kids may not even realize that some of the 10 behaviors below are actually forms of cyberbullying:

  • Forwarding personal texts or photos. Sending on a sext or a private IM conversation is mean, and it could get a child in deep trouble or even suspended from school.

  • Impersonating someone else online. Cyberbullies might post as if they were another person, creating a screen name similar to theirs or actually hacking into their account and pretending to be them.

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