Online Bullying: Learn How to Deal with Online Bullying
When it comes to students being in school, bullying has always been a problem that has plagued the corridors and playgrounds. From relatively small instances of being picked on and name-calling to much more serious physical abuse and the resulting long-term effects.
However, since the rise of mobile phones, computers and tablets, bullying has taken on another form in the digital world, more commonly referred to as ‘cyberbullying’. Cyberbullying is becoming an increasing problem in schools around the world, and it’s essential for parents, teachers and students to be proactive in reducing it, and stopping it altogether.
Today, we’re going to explore everything you need to know about cyberbullying including what’s happening right now, what measures are in place to deal with it and what you can do to help address any instances of cyberbullying that might be going on in your life.
The Definition of Online Bullying
First, so we’re all on the same page, let’s check out the official definition of online bullying. In short, cyberbullying (also the same as online bullying) is a form of bullying that takes place online. This can occur through any device including, but not limited to, a mobile phone, a computer or a laptop.
Most commonly, cyberbullying takes place through social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, but could happen in chat rooms, on blogs, through email or other instant messaging services.
Cyberbullying comes in the form of insulting, harassing, belittling, threatening or aggressively intimidating somebody. This is such a problem because children are having access to these technologies at a young age and feel as though they can act in a bullying way because it’s not face-to-face.
In extreme cases, children may even create fake accounts to remain anonymous to the people they are abusing or picking on. Any form of threat, whether generally speaking, sexually, or racially is classed as bullying.
What Online Bullying Laws Exist?
Now that we’re all aware on what online bullying is, it’s important to note there are already processes, rules and laws in place that are designed to help to minimise the risk of online bullying, as well as punishing and educating the perpetrators.
However, what applicable online bullying laws exist depend on which country you’re living in. As of 2017, there is no official legal definition of what cyberbullying is, although existing bullying laws are brought into action if it’s taking place online.
In the US, the online bullying laws are known as ‘cyberstalking’. This is a criminal offence and includes, but is not limited to, slander of an individual, online harassment and anti-stalking. If proven guilty of cyberstalking, the punishments can be severe.
Sentences can range from prison sentences up to 18 months and a $10,000 fine for a fourth-degree charge. However, a second-degree charge can result in up to 10 years in prison as well as having to pay a fine up the amount of $150,000.
The degrees of online bullying laws can vary depending on the severity of the individual case. For example, if someone posts someone that could be deemed bullying, but they instantly regret saying it and don’t post anything malicious again; this won’t be a problem.
However, if an individual is constantly going out of their way, creating multiple posts or content, known as ‘rich media’ to target one or more people, or even strategizes a bullying campaign to harm someone, this can result in the hefty sentence.
In the US, the UK and many other countries, other related bullying laws are also brought into action in relevant cases. This includes Public Order Acts, Bullying in the Workplace laws, Obscene Publication Laws, Communication Acts, Computer Misuse Acts, Protection from Harassment Acts, Malicious Communications Acts and many more.
Of course, again, this will depend on the country you’re in and how these laws are phrased or titled. Young adults over the age of 18 are typically charged as adults, but children can also be charged and will be depending on the severity of the bullying and the specifics of the individual case.
What Can Parents Do for Online Bullying Before Their Kids Get Hurt
With all this information, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed, and that’s understandable. However, even with all these laws in place, it’s incredibly difficult for authorities to manage and keep track of what’s happening on every single child’s social media account.
What’s more, cyberbullying can take place without anybody, but the people involved realising, and if your child is being bullied or is bullying someone else, and they don’t speak up about it, there’s no way anybody, not you or the teachers, is going to find out.
However, as a parent, there are ways out there you can be proactive in making sure you notice the signs and can help to address and deal with the situation. One of the most effective methods is using parental control software.
FamiSafe is one of the most feature-rich parental control applications available today and comes with everything you need to discover and prevent cyberbullying in any form. It’s also one of the most effortless solutions that anybody can pick up and use; no technical skills required.
Some of the features you’ll be able to use include;
- Web Activity Tracking
You can log into your account at any time to see what your child is searching while they use the internet on their device. You’ll be able to track their search history, as well as checking to see what websites they’re accessing. If your child is searching about bully online, this could indicate a bullying problem.
- Suspicious Text
Suspicious SMS is the latest feature to be added to the FamiSafe application and helps to notify you about any SMS messages that could be related to bullying. The app will scan every single message to check for bully online-related keywords, sending you a notification if it finds anything.
- Track Real-Time Location & Geofencing Features
In addition to all these online related features, a key feature FamiSafe offers are being able to track your child’s device location in real-time via GPS. This means you can see where your child is and whether they’re skipping school; an indication of bullying.
You can also access geofencing features where you’ll receive a notification if your child breaches a vertical perimeter on the map that you can set up and change at any time.
- Full Device Remote Control
Some children find themselves because hooked on social media as they respond and read comments or try to turn things around when bully online takes place. What’s more, if your child is bullying someone else, you might want to restrict access to their device. This is all possible via FamiSafe.
How to Install FamiSafe?
To help you get started with the FamiSafe solution today, we’ve gone ahead and listed out exactly how you can set up and running in just three simple steps; ensuring you will instantly have all the tools you need to identify bullying.
- Step #1 - Install FamiSafe
Firstly, head over to the FamiSafe website and make an account. You’ll need your email address, as well as creating a secure but memorable password. Then, take both your phone and your child’s phone and download the FamiSafe app.
Alternatively, you can search ‘FamiSafe’ in the respective app store and download and set it up directly from there. Don’t forget to install it on both phones!
- Step #2 - Set Up FamiSafe
Once the app has been installed, open it and sign in using the account you made in Step #1. Now, on your phone, select the ‘Parent’ option, and on your child’s phone select the ‘Child’ option. This can be done easily by following the onscreen instructions.
On Android devices, you’ll need to accept all the permissions asked for the app to work fully. Now the app is set up and ready to use!
- Step #3 - Start Using FamiSafe
You can now hand your child’s device back to them, and they’ll be able to use it as they normally would. On your device, open the FamiSafe app, and you’ll be taken to your personal dashboard where you’ll have access to all the features.
You can access these features at any time, and all the information is updated in real-time, so you know exactly what’s happening and when. Use the features to monitor how your child is using the internet and what’s being said; ensuring you’re able to spot any signs of bullying taking place and then taking the appropriate actions.
As you can see, although cyberbullying may seem like a daunting situation to try and tackle, there are laws, systems, processes and solutions in place to help tackle it. Make sure you’re being proactive with these steps, as well as talking to your child openly and honestly about the risks and effects of bullying to help decrease the risk of it happening and together, we may even be able to stop it for good.
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