Is your child a victim of online bullying?

Is your child a victim of online bullying?

The statistics about children and Internet safety can be very scary for parents to hear. A new survey by Microsoft shows that nearly half of the kids on the Internet experience online bullying. In the United States this number might be slightly lower at 29%, but even that is a very large number of children. Does this mean we all leap into installing Internet blocking software on our home computers? Or do we start peeking over our child’s shoulder from time to time? The first of these can at least be a possibility when used in moderation but considering the expertise of children on the internet nowadays, it is much more important to educate them on the subject.

Most children have access to the Internet at home as well as at school; so just imposing a whole lot of measures at home would not be a complete solution. It is definitely a start though, and parents must ensure that they check with their Internet Service Provider (ISP) about parental Internet measures such as Internet blocking software that would be provided with the connection. This would help to block any adult sites such as pornographic or adult chat sites with a password. As children grow older though, they do get better at circumventing blocks and passwords, and can also access these at places other than at home. It is important at such an age that parents talk frankly to children about safety on the internet, and about what kinds of online interactions are indications of danger and need to be discussed with a parent or teacher.

The variety of software for children available online makes it a very attractive option for them to spend more time on the Internet. Both in terms of educational information and tools, and from the aspect of fun and games, the Internet has become the newest and most interesting “playground” for most children. Another aspect of the time your child spends online is to balance it accordingly with physical play for the health and fitness of the child. As parents we must have a reasonable idea about how much time is being spent researching for a school paper, and how much may be in a chat room. When it comes to our kids and the Internet, we can never be too careful about child Internet safety.

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