Online dangers

By sean

What is cyber bullying?

"Cyberbullying" is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones.

How to prevent cyber bullying?

Educating the kids about the consequences (losing their ISP or IM accounts) helps. Teaching them to respect others and to take a stand against bullying of all kinds helps too. So how do we prevent it after it has stated? Because their motives differ, the solutions and responses to each type of cyberbullying incident has to differ too. Unfortunately, there is no "one size fits all" when cyberbullying is concerned. Only two of the types of cyberbullies have something in common with the traditional schoolyard bully. Experts who understand schoolyard bullying often misunderstand cyberbullying, thinking it is just another method of bullying. But the motives and the nature of cybercommunications, as well as the demographic and profile of a cyberbully differ from their offline counterpart.

What is sexting?

Sexting occurs when a person takes a picture that's nude, seminude, or flirtatious and sends it to another person over the phone. Sexting can also be defined as sending texts, photos, or a combination of text and photos that are sexual in nature. If you don't think your teen is sexting, you might want to think again. Cyber bullying statistics reveal that one in five teens have either sent or received a sexting message. Teens often view sexting as silly, but they need to understand how inappropriate it is and how dangerous it can be.

Why is sexting dangerous?

  • Sexting can ruin a child's reputation and cause serious emotional and psychological problems. Once a photo is electronically uploaded, it's forever out of your teen’s control. An angry ex boyfriend or ex girlfriend can post it publicly for all to see, which could have long-term consequences. There have been some recent cases of teens committing suicide because they were so distressed over images that were sent out that embarrassed and humiliated them.
  • Sexting is prohibited under child pornography laws. Your child could be arrested and convicted of child pornography trafficking for sending and/or receiving sexually-oriented text messages regardless of how unintentional and innocent the sexting may have been.
  • Sexting can open the door to pedophiles. Pedophiles have been known to use photos to blackmail children into having sex with them to prevent further distribution.