Cyberbullying is a growing issue that many kids are facing
With new technologies providing new platforms for bullies to follow kids from the playground to their computers and even phones, Norton by Symantec look at the figures that raise the need for parents to help, protect and take action whether their child be the bully, victim or witness to an incident as this new reality faces more and more children.
As school’s let out for the summer and more children spend their time online, the internet security experts look at why prevention is better than cure with awareness and an open dialogue.
“Bullying is often viewed as “just part of growing up” yet cyberbullying adds a new dimension to the problem and is a fallout from the web that today’s parents never saw coming and cyberbullying is a growing issue that many kids are facing. While it is common for bullying cases to go unreported, whether small or big the emotional impact is still there and the fact remains that parents are still unaware of the extent of the dangers that their children are facing online,” says Mariam Meritt , Norton’s Top Security Advocate and tech-savvy mother of three.
In February of 2011, Norton polled a random sample of 1068 parents who have a child between the ages of 8-18, exploring parents’ opinions about family Internet security and polled them about their kids’ experiences with cyberbullying and general Internet use. Nearly 25% of parents polled said that their child had been involved in a cyberbullying incident while only 40% of parents whose child witnessed cyberbullying talked to their child about how best to stop it.
With children surfing the net more frequently and more importantly using it as a means to talk to their friends, parents additionally revealed that social media was the most common medium for children to become victimized with 52% of parents seeing cyberbullying taking place on popular networking sites, followed closely by mobile phones at 39% and e-mail at 23%. The increasingly availability of social networks, smartphones and tablets to children in the UAE further elevates the importance for a monitored approach and open channel of communication with parents when it comes to online safety.