5 Ways Teens and Parents Can Prevent Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is unfortunately a very common way for children and teens to experience bullying in our culture today. We can’t guarantee their safety from cyberbullying, but we can teach them ways to protect themselves online. There are also things we can do to support them in staying safe in a digital world. The number one recommendation we have is to make sure your child is ready for whatever app, social media, or website they are accessing. Do some research yourself to determine the pros and cons as well as possible risks prior to child/teen access.
5 ways for teens to stay safe online
Thankfully, there are quite a few things teens can do to stay safe on the internet. Below are some ways they might be able to prevent cyberbullying from happening to them.
- Check privacy settings- Ensure you have the highest privacy settings for your social media accounts. You can always adjust these after setting up the account if you didn’t think to do so at the time.
- Stranger danger- This applies in the digital world too! Keep your photos and personal information out of the hands of people you don’t know.
- Create strong passwords- Avoid using your name or birthday as those are easier for others to hack. Include numbers and symbols to complicate the password in order to increase its strength. Also, don’t share your passwords, even with close friends.
- Posting permanence- Even if you delete a post, it can still exist on the internet. Think twice before posting to avoid regretting things that could be found by an employer or friend later.
- Know how to block or report- Make the internet safer for you and for others by blocking and reporting inappropriate content or cyberbullying.
5 ways for parents to prevent cyberbullying
Parents want the best for their children, but you can’t control everything they experience on the internet. Thankfully, there are some ways you can help to prevent cyberbullying from affecting them.
- Be aware of what they are doing online. Monitoring your teen’s social media sites, apps, and browsing history can be helpful in catching any cyberbullying that might occur.
- Check or reset your teen’s privacy settings.
- Follow your teen on social media. This can help you keep an eye on their internet activity and help them avoid cyberbullying
- Stay up to date on the apps and social media platforms your teen might be using. Staying involved enough to be aware of the situations they might get themselves into can help you to have conversations ahead of time to help prevent cyberbullying.
- Establish rules with your teen about appropriate online behavior including password protection, not sharing personal information, saving evidence of cyberbullying if it occurs, and blocking and reporting suspicious or bullying activity.
The internet can be a wonderful place but it can also be a place for negativity and cyberbullying. Help your teen protect themselves and support them in preventing cyberbullying for themselves and those around them.