Tips to prevent cyberbullying

socialmediaWorried about the recent case of cyberbullying at Annapolis High School and how such a problem might impact your tweens and teens? Below are some tips from Tim Woda and the Parental Intelligence company uKnow that can help prevent your child from becoming victim of or engaging in cyberbullying.


Tips to help prevent cyberbullying from affecting your family

  • Understand the technology that your child is using. Be familiar with all the functions of the sites your child is using including social networks, gaming systems, mobile phones, chat sites, etc. Some of these could have messaging and photo-sharing options that you might not even be aware of.
  • Be a vigilant parent. Know who your child is talking to and who is trying to talk to them. The more information you have about their interactions online, the better equipped you will be to interfere if anything dangerous should happen. Parental monitoring systems such as uKnowKids are a great way to help out with this task if you think it is too overwhelming.
  • Know all of your child's passwords. No exceptions.
  • Communicate house rules. Before your child is allowed a phone or device with Internet connection, he or she should be well-aware of any pre established house rules. Discuss your expectations for online behavior and the consequences for failing to meet those expectations, but also discuss the potential legal and social repercussions of actions online, such as sending images or cyberbullying.
  • Look for warning signs. If your child is a victim of cyberbullying, the signs are there. Look to see if he is shying away from the computer and phone, if he is alienating himself from friends or if he is suddenly acting depressed. On the flip side, your child should exhibit a change in behavior if he has started to become a bully online.

Read about a Maryland law passed earlier this month called Grace's Law that cracks down on cyberbullying.

Tim Woda is based in Bowie. His own son was targeted by an Internet child predator