Cyberbullying has been seen to be a problem which needs confrontation however parents and teachers have not had similar reactions to it as that of traditional bullying. This is probably why a number of parents are still unaware of the threat of cyberbullying. Not being aware of this threat leads them to not being able to lecture their kids about online safety appropriately either.
Social media is an important part of the lives of teenagers in today’s digital world. It is an important channel through which they communicate and interact with each other. While social media accounts are considered by them to be a blessing, it can turn into a curse if they are used inappropriately. The issue is seen to be of utmost importance when solutions need to be found out on how to stop this issue from further becoming large. Not being able to keep passwords protected from those who snoop can leave children susceptible to cyberbullying in the forms of impersonation, outing, and trickery. Impersonation consists of someone else stealing the victim’s identity to post material or send material which can put a risk on their safety, reputation and the relationships they have. The outing, on the other hand, consists of the perpetrator getting access to the account of the victim and getting a hold of their personal information and secrets. The information is then made public in order to humiliate the victim. The trick involves the perpetrator getting a hold of the identity of the victim and then making use of the trust the victim has with friends and family to learn more information.
Teens constantly find themselves to be in dangerous territory when the security of their accounts is concerned. There are a number of perpetrators who can make use of their passwords and constantly bring psychological and emotional blows to them. While teenagers may find it alright to share their passwords with those who are close to them, doing this may make them more susceptible to cyberbullying because it is possible that the friendship does not last forever. Kids, as well as strangers at times, gain access to others accounts simply to have fun, to gain pleasure or to embarrass the victim. At times, teenagers have their accounts targeted by rivals who wish to take the competition to an unhealthy level. Bullies too are a threat, the biggest kind in fact as gaining access to their victim’s account can give them opportunities to harass them.
Severe consequences can be faced if the accounts of teenagers are compromised and misused. Due to this parents need to talk to their children and teach them about being safe online and how important it is for them to not give anyone their passwords, not even friends and that if they feel there is something fishy in their accounts, they should immediately change their passwords. Parents should also encourage their children to report any acts of cyberbullying without being afraid that they would lose any of the privileges given to them. Parents should also teach their children to not fight fire with fire as it would only cause the problem to further increase and could also result in violence and aggression occurring in the real world.
Thus, while not everyone is aware of the dangers of cyberbullying, parents should specifically get themselves familiarized with what it is all about and how their children too can become victims of it. It is the responsibility of parents to teach their children well about the issue and to keep them safe in a world where everything happens digitally and where remaining away from online activities is certainly tough.