Today’s children and young people have grown up in a world that is very different from that of most adults. Many young people experience the internet and mobile phones as a positive, productive and creative part of their activities and development of their identities; always on and always there. Above all, information communication technologies support social activity that allows young people to feel connected to their peers. Unfortunately, technologies are also being used negatively. When children are the target of bullying via mobile phones or the internet, they can feel alone and very misunderstood. They may not be able to identify that what is happening to them is a form of bullying, or be confident that the adults around them will understand it that way either. Previously safe and enjoyable environments and activities can become threatening and a source of anxiety. As mobile phone and internet use become increasingly common, so has the misuse of this technology to bully. Current research in this area indicates that cyberbullying is a feature of many young people’s lives. One study carried out for the Anti-Bullying Alliance found that 22% of young people reported being the target of cyberbullying.
Overview and Guidance (provided by Childnet International) – This document explains how cyberbullying is different from other forms of bullying, how to respond and combat misuse through a shared responsibility, and how to promote and develop a culture of confident technology users to support innovation, e-safety and digital literacy skills.
What can you do to protect your child?
Be aware, your child may as likely cyberbully as be a target of cyberbullying. Be alert to your child seeming upset after using the internet or their mobile phone. This might involve subtle comments or changes in relationships with friends. They might be unwilling to talk or be secretive about their online activities and mobile phone use. Talk with your children and understand the ways in which they are using the internet and their mobile phone. See the tips below for students and use the tools on the service and turn on in-built internet safety features. Remind your child not to retaliate and to keep the evidence of offending emails, text messages or online conversations. Report cyberbullying:
- Contact your child’s school if it involves another pupil, so that they can take appropriate action.
- Contact the service provider.
- If the cyberbullying is serious and a potential criminal offence has been committed, you should consider contacting the police.
Don’t be intimidated by the technology, and keep talking to your child about their online life. Privacy is a key issue online so remind your child to keep their personal information private. Help your child create strong passwords (not easy to guess) using a combination of numbers, capital letters and symbols
Tips for students to help stay safe
You have the right to feel safe all the time, including when using ICT or your mobile phone.
- Always respect others – be careful what you say online and what images you send.
- Think before you send – whatever you send can be made public very quickly and could stay online forever.
- Treat your password like your toothbrush keep it to yourself. Only give your mobile number or personal website address to trusted friends.
- Block the bully – learn how to block or report someone who is behaving badly.
- Don’t retaliate or reply!
- Save the evidence – learn how to keep records of offending messages, pictures or online conversations.
Make sure you tell:
- an adult you trust, or call a helpline like ChildLine on 0800 1111 in confidence;
- the provider of the service; check the • service provider’s website to see where to report incidents;
- your school – a teacher
Finally, don’t just stand there – if you see cyberbullying going on, support the victim and report the bullying. How would you feel if no one stood up for you?.
Please also see our page related to online safety and gaming provided by the Kingston LCSB.
What is CEOP?
CEOP stands for Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre; their job is to protect young people from abuse on the internet.
They provide help, advice and a way of reporting service