Monday, 15 August 2016

How to Keep Kids Safe from Cyber-Bullying

With changing times, as parents or guardians our worries for our kid’s safety have grown. While we try our level best to maintain a balance between managing their privacy and at the same time also trying to keep them safe, occasionally we fail to the likes of many luring threats like cyber bullying. This is new yet much dangerous form of bullying that preys on youngsters through computerized networking. 

Young adulthood and teenage years tend to bring out the worse in kid. This is the time in their lives where they are learning and exploring all the possibilities around them. However this is the time when they need the most supervision as well. But providing round the clock supervision is usually not practical therefore as parents we need to take some other precautionary measures that can help us monitor our kid’s social circles. Here are a few tips on how to keep kid safe from cyber bullying.

Monitor SMS (Text Messages) Activity

Every teenager has an active messaging log today. Technology allows everyone to stay connected and as these young adults are trying their best to understand the world around them they are always online. They may be receiving hurtful or threatening messages and not telling you either out of embarrassment or fear. However, if these continue they can have a strong and lasting effect on your child’s self-esteem and upbringing. Therefore, other than being honest and open with your child about the possibilities of such things happening, you can easily install a monitoring application that will allow you to keep a check on who your child is talking to and what they are discussing. These monitoring applications also tend to save a copy of the threatening messages for evidence sake in case you have to report to the authorities under harassment.

Keep a Check on Browsing History

Kids are fragile and occasionally are able to exhibit certain symptoms like weariness and depression if they are disturbed because of something, for example cyber bullying. It is important that you keep the computer your child uses in a high traffic zone in your home, this way you can easily keep an eye on your kid’s internet activity. Also have a thorough conversation with your child about boundaries based on acceptable and unacceptable behavior before getting online. 

However a child experiencing cyber bullying may try to hide his or her feelings or become hostile both of which are obvious red flags that parents need to look into. If such behaviors come up, it is recommended that you have a look at your child’s internet usage. However, teens who are going through a tough time will never leave behind any evidence. This is where you are advised to install monitoring applications for browsing history. These applications hold on to all the data even if it is part of private browsing or hidden bookmarks. This way in case you come across your child searching on issues like depression or stress, you can prey further into the problem. 

Actively Monitor Social Media Activity

Social media is by far the worst networking portal for cyber bullying. If kid using social media sites are not thoroughly monitored they may end up revealing too much information about them that could become bait for bullies online. All parents are advised to encourage teens not to reveal their passwords and personal information online. Other than that, parents should also be a part of their kid’s friends list and occasionally go through their profiles and post so as to keep all cyber bullies at bay.

Besides these, parents should also look towards installing a social media monitoring app that would send them notifications about their child’s social media activities. These smart applications also manage to stop any hanky activity that you have initially put a restriction on.

Cyber bullying may be increasing by the day, but in a way it is also bridging the gap between parents and teens. Such issues tend to make parents have open conversations with kid which develop trust and mutual understanding. Trusting that your kid will open up to you in any circumstance is a great achievement. Parents should also try to instill a sense of right and wrong based on the “what if you were in their shoes” principal. After all, parents are their kid’s first and last heroes.