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17 October 2011

How to handle cyber bullies

Cyber bullies victimise their classmates and acquaintances online because they don't see the immediate consequences of their actions.

Self-confidence and understanding how the internet works may help head off problems.

  • Children should be taught to stand up for themselves – both in real time and in cyberspace, Oliver said. "Kids need to speak up and tell other kids (especially a bully) what they need and what they don't want," she explained in a university news release.
  • As a rash of US suicides has shined a spotlight on cyber bullying. Oliver outlined some ways to help young people survive digital attacks and also protect themselves from future bullying:
  • Only accept online friends who are known and trusted.
  • Do not participate in online bullying, gossip or the sharing of embarrassing photos and videos – either yours or someone else's.
  • Understand that any messages, pictures or videos posted online can be seen and commented on by others.

Parents should get involved and help their children understand the online world, Oliver advised. Also, parents must limit internet access if they believe their teens are not capable of handling the drama that can play out online, she said.

 
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