4 Ways Parental Control Software Limits Cyberbullying

Dec 07, 2016

Please take an interest in what your children do online. Find out what social media platforms they are using and be sure that their use is appropriate and kind.

This is Lucy Alexander’s plea, in an open letter, penned after her son Felix took his own life; the result of years of cyberbullying.

The rise in smartphone ownership and usage, paired with the number of children online on a daily basis, has contributed to the rates of cyberbullying tripling over the previous year. Cyberbullying, so prevalent it’s now deemed a public health issue (some even labeling it a public health crisis), is no longer something we, as parents, can ignore and assume is someone else’s problem...until it becomes a problem of our own. Parents, we are the frontline, we are the ones who can help stop cyberbullying.

Alexander urges parents to be vigilant and involved in their children’s online lives:

“A region that was especially active is a part of the striatum called the nucleus accumbens, which is part of the brain’s reward circuitry, she said. This reward circuitry is thought to be particularly sensitive during adolescence.” This leads us to the conclusion that teens are especially vulnerable to the addiction and self-esteem boosting power of “likes.”

So, how do we prevent cyberbullying? We teach our children responsible digital citizenship, and model it for them in our daily online interactions and conduct. We teach our children to be up standers and continually encourage them to be kind and accepting of everyone. We communicate with them about their online lives and check in daily. And lastly, we monitor our children’s online activities.

I’ve talked with friends who have multiple children, each with a device that needs to be turned in and reviewed every night before bed. Technology has added an additional chore to our already burgeoning lists of items to be completed in a day. Fellow parents, this is where parental control software can really help you out.

Awareness

Parental control software provides parents with a dashboard where they can review and monitor their child’s online activity, including social networks. You are able to see where your child is spending her time, who she’s chatting with, the topics she’s looking into, and who she’s adding as friends on her networks. Being aware of your child’s activity can help prevent cyberbullying because you have insight into what’s taking place in your child’s online life.

Limits

Don’t want your child staying up late, chatting online while you are sleeping? Parental controls allow you to set time limits on your children’s devices, allowing and cutting off Internet access at designated times. No need to panic if you forgot to collect devices before bed, parental control software has you covered.

Access

With parental controls, you can manage the sites and platforms your child is able to access when going online. This means that your child is unable to access areas cyberbullies love to use, such as chat forums or messaging apps.

Rules

Even if you’ve already signed an online contract with your child, and you continually communicate with her about expectations and her daily online activity, it is important to install parental control software to be your eyes when you are away from your child. Not only can parental controls keep your child safe, but it can help enforce established online rules.

To use Lucy Alexander’s words, “We have a collective responsibility to prevent other young lives being lost to unkindness and bullying.”