Cyber bullying is a new form of harassment. When someone is cyber bullied, they are taunted, threatened, embarrassed, or insulted using electronic technology. Making fun of someone on social media or sending a threatening text message are both forms of cyber bullying.

Cyber bullying can be especially dangerous for children. Because the attacks are electronic, they can happen any time. A child who is being cyber bullied may never feel safe or able to escape the taunts. Embarrassing images or messages can quickly spread, making it harder for the child to avoid. It can also be hard to trace the source of cyber bullying because people can remain anonymous on the internet. Some kids who are cyber bullied are bullied in person as well.

Protecting your child from cyber bullying may seem hard, but there is a lot you can do. Take the steps below to take control of cyber bullying.

Watch what your child does online. Find out what sites and apps your child is using. If your child uses social media, ask to “follow” or “friend” them.

Teach them about online safety. Tell your child about the dangers of posting personal information online. It can be used against them or be seen by people they did not intend. You may want to set up rules about using technology, such as which devices are OK, and set times for use.

Shut down cyber bullying. If your child is being harassed, keep records of what is happening. Save files and take screenshots of the bullying. If possible, have your child block the person doing the harassment.

Alert the police. Some forms of cyber bullying are illegal. If the bullying involves threats of violence or sending sexually explicit images, report it to law enforcement.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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