2014: The Year of Cyberbullying

Jul 14, 2014

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Earlier this year in April, a young teen girl was shot and killed following an argument on Facebook .  Unfortunately, she wasn’t the only one to experience an offline confrontation due to online arguments. This year alone, 50 percent of youth have reported experiencing face-to-face fights because of a post on social media –compared to last year’s 33 percent.

According to a report by McAfee, face-to-face confrontations aren’t the only issues arising because of social media. Their most significant finding from the 2014 study revealed that 87 percent of young teens witnessed cyberbullying this year opposed to the 27 percent who witnessed it last year.

Those included in the 87 percent, shared that they were cyberbullied for three main reasons:

  • Appearance (72%)
  • Race/Religion (26%)
  • Sexuality (22%)

Although those who are victims to cyberbullying, they are not completely innocent. Oversharing online and risky social media activity can make them more vulnerable to cyberbullying. Youth tend to overshare private information openly and only a small amount utilize privacy settings that are available on social profiles.

The power to change and improve the quality of online interactions is up to youth and parents/leaders.  The following are tips to help educate youth:

-Understand their technology. Take time to learn and use the different kinds of devices they use.

-Use Social Media. By using social media, you can understand how it works and stay up-to-date on the newest social networks.

-Talk with your teens. Have casual and open conversations about online risks and reputation management. Remind them that nothing is ever deleted once it is shared online.

Parents, teachers, coaches, and guardians can monitor online activities and be aware of malicious behavior by using software such as Net Nanny Social.

To learn more, visit: http://www.netnanny.com/

Source: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/227326/online-bullying-soars-mcafee-finds.html