CYBER bullying is intentional, repeated behaviour by individuals or organisations using online technology to cause distress or humiliation to another individual or to attempt to humiliate, intimidate, control or to otherwise put that person down.
– Cyber bullying takes place by email, internet chat rooms, internet discussion groups or forums, instant messaging, sites such as Facebook, MySpace or Bebo, and mobile phone messaging, video clips and phone calls.4From the moment a child starts using a computer, parents should talk to them about online safety by reminding them that stranger danger is more prolific online than in the real world and that they have no way of knowing the age, gender or motives of people they are talking to online.
– Install anti-virus, spy ware, firewall and filters in the family computer and your child’s laptop. Free filters are available from netalert.gov.au.
– Ensure the family computer stays in an area accessible and visible to all and monitor the sites visited and take an interest in what children are doing online.
– Be alert to any changes in your child’s behaviour ie: spending more time online, a spike in mobile phone usage and bills. Encourage them to talk to you if anybody says or does anything to make them feel uncomfortable.8Regularly visit these websites: schools.nsw.edu.au/news/technology, netalert.gov.au and thinkuknow.org.au.
– If you are aware of school-related bullying, encourage your child to notify a trusted adult at school or notify the school yourself. 10If you are concerned about offensive websites, contact the Australian Communications and Media Authority (acma.gov.au). Report cyber harassment to your local police and your internet service provider or phone service provider, which can block messages or calls from certain senders. For confidential support, call the Net Alert helpline on 1800 880 176. Confidential counselling is available for children and young people from the Kids Help Line on 1800 551 800.
– Kids today spend hours online and technology has taken schoolyard bulling into the stratosphere with the added, sinister element of relative anonymity.