The Foundation is urging parents to be more aware of their children’s online presence following a spike in cyber bullying across the nation.
With children now spending more time online and sometimes not supervised, the risks are heightened with recent reports from the e-Safety Commissioner seeing a 40% increase in all forms of online harm and 21 percent in cyber bullying; including taunts and harassment directed at children and young people.
"Now is the time to be more vigilant than ever before, said CEO, David Gribble. With the commencement of the new school term, parents need to be monitoring online activity and looking for any warning signs that are synonymous with cyber bullying.’’
Recent reports have seen a spike in nasty comments and name callings as well as a distinct coronavirus feeling, including fake memorials and direct threats or harm hoping children catch the virus.
Parents now need to be alert, not alarmed during this time and take advantage of the opportunity to be more engaged in their lives whilst families co-work alongside their children at home.
Tips for supporting your child's online activities include:
Set limitations when kids are using technology for entertaining and socialising purposes and have that done in an open environment in the house so you can hear and see their reactions and who they are talking to.
Look for the warning signs of children being withdrawn, changes in their sleep and eating patterns, mood swings and anxiety that may indicate your child is being bullied.
You can use privacy controls and settings but the best control is ''parental presence'' and having open conversations with you children during these times.
If you receive a report like this - you should contact the social media site itself and if it isn’t taken down, collect the evidence and send it to the e-Safety Commissioner who can advocate on behalf of the child to the social media outlets. This includes any content that is humiliating, harassing intimidating or threatening. The longer the damaging content is up and it continues the more damage is likely to be done to your child.
Most importantly, Let you kids know they can come to you for help and they won't be denied their devices if something goes wrong . Taking away their divides is like taking away their left arm, so we want to keep that opened.
Should parents need further advice, contact the Kids Helpline on 1800551800.