Cyber Bullying

Cyberbullying can be seriously damaging to kids.
Our Cyber Experts tell us the main signs to look out for if you think your child is being bullied.

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At Family Zone, we work with some of the best Cyber Experts in the industry to ensure we continue to be at the forefront of cyber security for your family. This content was created in conjunction with these experts. Read more on how to recognise the signs of cyberbullying in your child & what you can do to help.

What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is the use of an electronic device to bully a person or group. The bully or bullies send messages of an intimidating or threatening nature to harass, embarrass or torment the other person. Unfortunately, cyberbullying can be a problem for many children growing up. At Family Zone we advocate creating safe, online environments for children. We can help parents recognise the signs of cyberbullying and give them the resources to help their children.

Types of cyberbullying

Below are the most common forms of cyberbullying.

Harassment

This involves the bully sending offensive and malicious messages to an individual or group in a sustained fashion. The messages are malicious and will often be hurtful to the child. This can impact their self-esteem, confidence and make them fearful to attend school. Cyber stalking is a form of harassment that involves continual threatening and rude messages. This can lead to physical harassment in the real, offline world.

Exclusion

Exclusion is the deliberate act of leaving a person out from an online group or conversation. This can be extremely hurtful for the child who then feels rejected.

Outing

Outing is when a bully distributes personal information. This can be in the form of pictures, videos or text and is shared publicly without permission. A person is “outed” when his information has been disseminated throughout the internet. This includes the use of ‘sexting’ and ‘revenge porn’. Image-based abuse is a growing phenomenon as the rise of social messaging apps that do not require identification expand. When children accept, make or spread explicit images of their peers they are committing sexual offences and breaking the law.

Trolling

Trolling is the deliberate act of provoking a response through the use of insults, controversial statements and off-topic messages on online forums and social networking sites.

The troll will personally attack your child and put them down. Their main aim is to make them angry enough to act in the same way. Trolls spend their time looking for arguments. Usually they are looking to make themselves feel good by making others feel bad.

Masquerading

Masquerading is where a bully creates a fake identity to harass someone anonymously. In addition to creating a fake identity, the bully can impersonate someone else to send malicious messages to the victim. This can also be a type of catfishing whereby people create profiles to lure people into relationships with online strangers. This is often for their own amusement, to make money or to humiliate the person.

Sources of cyberbullying

Cyberbullying can happen on any electronic device. It is most likely to occur on social media sites and online forums but can also happen on online gaming sites. The bullies are most likely to be people your child knows from school.

Signs of cyberbullying

There are three types of warning signs that your child may be getting bullied; emotional, academic and behavioural.

Emotional

  • Becomes withdrawn or shy
  • Shows signs of depression
  • Is extremely moody or agitated
  • Is anxious or overly stressed out
  • Shows signs of aggressive behaviour

Academic

  • Doesn’t want to go to school
  • Gets into trouble at school
  • Skips school
  • Loses interest in school
  • Drops in grades

Behavioural

  • Suddenly stops using the computer
  • Changes eating or sleeping habits (e.g. nightmares)
  • No longer wants to participate in activities once enjoyed
  • Hurts self, attempts or threatens suicide
  • Suddenly changes friends

The biggest red flag is a withdrawal from technology. If you notice a sudden change in computer or phone usage, talk to the child. They may be being cyberbullied.

Parents should also be on the look-out for signs that their child may be bullying someone else. While it may be difficult to accept, if you think your child is bullying another, then you should confront them about their behaviour.


Your child may be a bully if they:

  • Are exclusive, refusing to include certain kids in play or study
  • Persist in certain inappropriate or unpleasant behaviour even after you have told them to stop
  • Are very concerned with being and staying popular
  • Constantly play extremely aggressive video games
  • Seem intolerant of and/or show contempt for children who are "different" or "weird"
  • Frequently tease or taunt other children
  • Hurt animals
  • bserve you excluding, gossiping about, or otherwise hurting others. As parents you have a tremendous influence on your children.
  • As human beings, we all occasionally exhibit some bullying behaviours. It's only natural and it doesn't mean we're bad people. But think honestly about your own behaviour and then ask - do your kids also show these traits?

“One in five children ages 10-17 have received a sexual solicitation over the Internet”

- Child abuse and the Internet




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With the Family Zone Box and app you’ll be able to track you child’s typical online behaviour. You’ll know if there’s a change in their routine, what sites they visit, how long they spend there and when they access the Internet. You can control access to social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Kik and more. You can also disable the camera, prevent them from making in-app purchases and be alerted when they download apps.

Our Cyber Experts can also help provide advice if you think your child is a victim of, or being, a bully.

For the full range of Family Zone features view our How it works section. You can also compare Family Zone against other parental control software.

"Along with establishing parental controls and regularly discussing cyber-safety with our kids, we also need tools that protect them when they’re online. Family Zone offers a complete solution to many parents’ digital dilemmas."
- Dr. Kristy Goodwin




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