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How Kids Can Spot, Flag and Report Online Harassment

The online and offline worlds are increasingly interconnected–especially when it comes to your kids’ generation. Texts, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and a host of other platforms are often the most common meeting place for youth today. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Oftentimes, online interaction can lead to offline, in-person activities.

Every once in awhile, however, individuals forget that the golden rule applies in cyberspace just like it does anywhere else, and cyberbullying ensues.

That is why it is critical your child learns just how to respond if they are victimized or if they observe someone else being victimized. Youth that know how to respond to cyberbullying are empowered, empathetic and resilient.

Parents, take the time to role-play potential situations your child is likely encounter on various social networks, game platforms, and photo sharing sites. Teach them how to report abuse to the web platform and to send a supportive message to the target of the cruelty, by following these three steps:

1. Spot:

Online harassment–or Cyberbullying–is when someone methodically, deliberately, and persistently uses the internet and technology in a manner that is intended to harass, threaten, humiliate or harm the recipient. Before reporting the problem, you’ll want to be confident that what you’ve observed isn’t just simply banter or joking between friends.

2. Be an Upstander:

Reach out to the victim to offer reassurance. Extend yourself and tell them that they are cared for. You may even ask if they need help reporting the incident or getting in touch with a local organization that can help them get the support they need.

3. Report:

Unless you are sure that the harasser will respect your comments, it’s probably best not to contact them directly. (They may just target you as their next victim.) Instead, flag the abuse using the reporting features in the online service where the harassment occurred. Follow the instructions you are given to provide the links to evidence, etc. for the moderator to review.

Passively viewing online cruelty desensitizes; taking an appropriate stand against will benefit your child and all that they interact with online.

Content sponsored by a generous grant from Kaspersky

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