What is cyberbullying and how to prevent it?

Cyberbullying is a problem of the digital age. We explain what it is and how you can advise your children to avoid it.

What is cyberbullying?Cyberbullying is the use of digital media such as the internet and sexting to make another person annoyed, feel sad or afraid, and usually, repeatedly.

Some examples of cyberbullying are: send instant messages or in a chat to hurt a person, post shameful photos or videos on social networks and create online rumors.

If you are looking for information to know if your child is a victim of cyber bullying, ask yourself if the offender is intentionally and repeatedly harming you. If the answer is no, the offender may simply need to learn to behave online. If the answer is yes, take it seriously.

How to prevent cyberbullying?As soon as your child starts using the internet you must explain what your expectations are regarding their behavior. By acting responsibly and respectfully, they will be able to enjoy their time online and enjoy the best of the internet and largely evade cyberbullying and inappropriate content. Some basic tips you can tell your child are:

Communicate appropriately: Use the right language for the occasion. You probably don’t write to your teacher in the same way as your friends. And remember that using only capital letters means you are screaming, so don’t do it.

Keep private things private: Do not share information such as passwords, home addresses, inappropriate images, and gossip.

Respect others: Be polite and if you disagree with something, say it kindly.

Do not lie, steal, or cheat: Do not try to deceive others, remember to give credit to those who deserve it and, although it is easy to copy the work of another, do not download anything without permission or use codes to cheat in games.

Support who needs it: If someone you know is being a victim of cyberbullying, get on their side. You would like that person to do the same for you.

Report bad behaviors: The internet is a giant community and it is impossible that everything is perfect. Use network tools to report inappropriate content.

Follow the rules of your family: If your parents tell you to avoid certain websites or stop texting after a certain time, listen to them. The more responsible you are, the more privileges you will have.

Think before posting, sending messages and sharing: Consider how you and others can feel after you post something. It is not always easy to withdraw what is said online and what you do there can be recorded for a long time.

If your child is one of the victims of cyber bullying, it is advisable to contact cyberbullying.org for further information or actions.

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