Use of the internet and social media is a part of daily life, especially by children and teenagers. Unfortunately, there is a downside to these constant connections. Scammers and predators can use the internet and social media to find targets. Using fake profiles and photos, people can easily disguise their true identity and gain the trust of their target. This can happen to both children and adults. They may be after money, inappropriate photos, or personal information. NEVER accept messages or friend requests from people you don’t know, even if you share “mutual friends”. Don’t share personal information over social media and avoid oversharing (such as vacation information while you are away). Monitor your children’s internet and social media activity. Lead by example.
Children and teens can be inundated, even within their own home, with demeaning, threatening, harassing, or embarrassing messages and comments. Cyberbullying is different than traditional bullying. It can be done anonymously and victims don’t get a reprieve, even within their own safe spaces.
To learn more and to find out what peers, parents, teachers, and other adults can do to help identify and stop cyberbullying, visit the National Crime Prevention Council’s website at ncpc.org/resources/cyberbullying. For more resources and information on how to get help for you or someone else dealing with bullying or cyberbullying, visit StopBullying.gov.