Woburn, MA – November 18, 2022 – Kaspersky experts have collected a range of tips for parents and children on what to do if you’re bullied, and how to protect yourself.
November is a month when cyberbullying is widely discussed around the world with events including the International Day Against Violence and Bullying to the week-long dedicated fight against the problem in the U.K.
In support of ongoing efforts to deal with the issue, Kaspersky shared the following tips for kids for protecting themselves from cyberbullying:
· Set privacy settings
Parents teach children not to talk to strangers on the street. So why don’t we talk about the same rule, but for the online space? Guides on how to increase privacy on social media are available on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Twitch, Reddit.
· Do not answer
Reacting with offensive words of your own will often only escalate a cyberbullying situation. Trying to reason with a bully without the participation of adults may also not be worth it. Ignoring them is generally the best way to protect yourself from further harassment.
· Block the aggressor, complain to the moderators
Many websites and all social networks can add a user to a block list. Contact the site’s administrators with a request to block the instigator. Guides on how to do this are available on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Twitch, Reddit.
· Take screenshots
Evidence can be useful if you need to contact law enforcement agencies or discuss the problem with the offender’s parents.
· Temporally delete or deactivate personal account
Leaving social media for a period of time can help to take a breath and focus on yourself. Moreover, bullies will see that a user is not responding and can lose interest, since they won’t get any reaction. The most important thing is not to blame yourself for the situation.
Tips for parents:
· Support and trust are essential elements
If children are faced with cyberbullying, parents can be a support for them. Unfortunately, according to various surveys, kids often don’t share these problems with parents. However, parents can look for possible signs, such as issues with sleeping or eating, tearfulness, irritability, avoiding going to school, or withdrawing from activities they once enjoyed.
· Prohibition is not an answer
To prohibit the use of social media or the internet is not an optimal solution to the cyberbullying issue. Such a step can complicate relations with a child as they can withdraw. It can be much more effective to help them take a critical attitude to the situation, and to "disconnect" from the bully’s messages.
· Keep in touch with kids online
One more good option can be to keep in touch with your child on social networks and instant messengers. It can help to check children’s posts to better understand their condition.
· Don’t dismiss the digital help
Today’s technology also comes with a number of parental controls to help safeguard kids from harmful or inappropriate online material. Parents can also avail themselves to third-party apps that offer protection from harmful content, as well as enable them to set screen time limits, monitor online activity, and also track kids’ location with GPS.
“Cyberbullying is a very complex and serious problem but it is quite possible to deal with,” said Andrey Sidenko, lead web content analyst at Kaspersky. “Studies show that children often do not tell adults that they are experiencing bullying. Building a trusting relationship with the child will help parents be aware if their child encounters bullying.”
More information on what else children and parents can do to deal with cyberbullying is available here.
Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity and digital privacy company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 240,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at usa.kaspersky.com.
Sawyer Van Horn