“Cyberbullying” is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets, as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages and websites. Examples of “Cyberbullying” include mean or hateful text messages or e-mails, rumors sent by e-mail or posts on social networking sites, embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.

In order to prevent “Cyberbullying” from occurring, parents and their children can explore safe ways to use technology and the following tips are provided in an effort to prevent “Cyberbullying” from occurring;

Technology Controls: There are a number of software programs to monitor your kids’ Internet usage. These programs limit the amount of time children can spend on the computer and limits the websites they can visit. Please remember, these programs are a limited solution as your children can easily get onto a computer at a neighbor’s house, at a public library, at school or anyplace where there is limited monitoring of Internet usage.

Education: Talk regularly with your children about “Cyberbullying” and consider the following;

  • Put your computer in an open/heavily travelled location in your home so you can monitor computer activity.
  • Know the sites that your child/children visit and monitor their online activities.
  • Tell your child/children that as a responsible parent you may review their online communications if you think there is reason for concern.
  • Ask for your child’s “passwords”, but explain that you’ll only use them in case of emergency.
  • Ask to “friend” or “follow” your child/children on social media sites.

Encourage your child/children to tell you immediately if they or someone they know is being “Cyberbullied”. Open lines of communication with your child/children is extremely important.

Establish Rules: Establish rules about appropriate use of computers, cell phones, etc. Discuss which sites your child/children can visit and what they are permitted to do when they’re on-line. Discuss what they should post on-line and that they should not post or share anything that could hurt or embarrass themselves or others. Once something is posted, it is out of their control whether someone else will forward it. Advise your child/children to keep their passwords safe and not to share them with friends. The sharing of their passwords can lead to serious problems; such as losing control over their on-line identities and the posting of hurtful information under their screen name, name, profile, etc.

Should you have any questions about “Cyberbullying” or the prevention tips listed above, please feel free to contact any member of the Flagler Beach Police Department so we can assist in preventing you or someone you care about from becoming a victim of “Cyberbullying”.

Additional information regarding “Cyberbullying” prevention can be obtained by visiting the following websites;

http://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/prevention/index.html
http://www.cyberbullyingprevention.com/
http://stopcyberbullying.org/prevention/parents_role.html

Parental Software websites

http://www.netnanny.com/
http://parentalcontrolbar.org/
http://kidswatch.com/