Statistics show and experts agree cyberbullying has reached epidemic proportions. In 2010, several stories surfaced of teenagers being arrested and charged with threatening others online, and in some tragic cases, victims of cyberbullying committed suicide. And it keeps happening – last week, a New York teenager took his life after months of cyberbullying on Facebook.
According to a report compiled on http://www.cyberbullying.us, 44 of the 50 states currently have anti-bullying laws in place; 32 of those include specific sanctions against cyberbullying or electronic harassment. Forty-three states require schools to have clear policies that address bullying, and many states are in the process of updating existing or adding new legislation. Jamie Leasure, co-found of Pandora Corporation, says the changing culture and new laws are going to result in severe penalties for bullies that are caught.
“Now more than ever, parents absolutely must be aware of what their child is doing online and what is happening in their digital lives,” he states. “Just as much as parents should be concerned when their child is a victim, they should take steps to make certain their child is not an aggressor in any way. Schools and law enforcement are pushing no-tolerance policies that can make something your child thinks is ‘just a joke’ into an incident that can remain with them for years. It is fast becoming in every parent’s best interest to make sure their child is not a bully.”
Pandora Corporation is the maker of PC Pandora computer monitoring software, a program that records everything that happens on the PC. Parents can see everything their children do online through screenshots of all activity. They can also review text-based logs of all emails sent and received, instant messenger conversations, social network chats and posts, websites visited and much more. Whatever a child does on the computer, good or bad, PC Pandora will show their parents everything.
Computer monitoring software can help end the cyberbullying epidemic by showing parents exactly what their kids are doing online and how they are interacting with others. Leasure says PC Pandora will alert parents when they have a bully in the house.
“Cyberbullying thrives on anonymity,” explains Leasure. “Not only are the bullies anonymous online, but they are working in secret in their own homes. PC Pandora takes that away from them and exposes their activity. It gives parents the opportunity to resolve the situation at home, quietly, before schools or law enforcement get involved.”
In the past year, several stories have appeared in the media of teenagers getting arrested and being charged with cyberbullying or a similar crime.
- January 2011 – A 17-year-old male and 16-year-old female are arrested in Lafayette, Louisiana, charged with cyber-stalking and bullying a classmate online. KATC.com
- January 2011 – A 15-year-old and 16-year-old female from Florida are arrested after they create a fake Facebook profile in the name of a classmate, with the intent of embarrassing and terrorizing the victim. ABC News
- January 2011 – Six girls in Nevada are arrested for coordinating “Attack a Teacher Day” at two different middle schools via Facebook. ABC News
- December 2010 – Two female middle school students in Illinois are charged with harassment after they set up a Facebook page to slander and harass a classmate; they will soon face a Peer Jury. Chicago Sun-Times
- November 2010 – Six teenage boys are arrested and charged with bullying a fellow student in Texas. KXAN.com
- September 2010 – Three teenage girls have been charged with cyberbullying that resulted in the suicide of Phoebe Prince. masslive.com
As government continues to amend and adapt laws and schools wrestle with boundaries of involvement and education techniques, Leasure says the real key to ending cyberbullying is zero tolerance from parents.
Says Leasure: “Cyberbullying will not stop until the parents of the bullies know what their children are doing online, and care enough to step in and stop it. While talking to your children about civility and teaching them to be nice to others is and always has been essential, monitoring Internet activity is the best way to make sure they are not bullying others online.”
About PC Pandora: Pandora Corporation was formed with one goal – to help our customers monitor, control and protect their families and themselves online. First released in mid 2005, PC Pandora has been constantly upgraded to industry-leading specifications and has received accolades from users, reviewers and even school districts and law enforcement agencies, who use the program to help in the day-to-day supervision of the children and citizens they are charged with protecting. The company website devotes space to helping parents by providing them with 18 Tips to Safe Surfing and Pandora’s Blog, where current news in the world of online safety is discussed regularly. In addition, the Pandora Corp. has made the PD Pandora Internet Safety Symposium available to schools and law enforcement as a free resource for spreading internet safety awareness to parents. Over the past few years, PC Pandora has vaulted into a leadership position for parental control software by boasting a combination of features that are unparalleled in the monitoring industry. In 2010, Version 6.0 was released, again widening the spectrum of coverage and protection offered by the program. Concurrently released with 6.0, the web-based PC Pandora LIVE! service affords parents the ability to keep their kids safe from anywhere at anytime. PC Pandora is also now available through the Pandora Corp. store at Amazon.com.
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