How to protect your kids from cyberbullying
(CNN) — From virtual learning to social media, children and teens are surrounding by technology- even more so during the pandemic. It’s a great way to stay connected while apart, but the increased screen time also includes an increased risk for cyberbullying.
“There’s no escape from cyberbullying because it follows you home because your technology follows you home,” said Angie Boy with Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children.
Boy says cyberbullying is using any electronic means to intimidate, harass, threaten or demean a person.
“Children have higher levels of anxiety, higher levels of depression as a result of dealing with cyberbullying which can then have an impact on their behaviors as they continue to age,” explained Boy.
There are some cyberbullying signs to be on the lookout for- your child may not be using their device as much or stop going to the same apps, they might try to hide the screen when adults are around, or avoid social situations.
Boy says, “Those are red flags that you want to follow up on with your child.”
Boy recommends setting technology rules for how long and when kids are allowed to be online. But, she says the most important step is communication.
“Have open conversations with your child. You want to know where they’re going online. Who are they talking to? What apps are they using? You want to have their user names and passwords and make sure you’re checking in on them pretty routinely.”