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Advice to help parents and children worried about 'cyber bullying'?
10:00am Saturday 24th August 2013 in News
With the issue of cyber bullying currently high on the public agenda, Cornwall Council is giving a helping hand to concerned parents with some easy to follow advice.
- Be aware – Set ground rules for using the technology safely, sites that can be visited and acceptable behaviour.
- Keep safe – Do not give out too much personal information, do not post or say anything that could hurt or embarrass yourself or others.
- Stay in Control – Remember once something is posted you have lost control of the email, text or picture. If you wouldn’t show that picture or say it in the real world, then don’t do it online.
- Report – If you receive bullying messages, do not respond to the sender and do not ‘forward’ messages, texts, or emails. Keep the evidence and record dates, times and description of incidents and block the person who is cyber bullying.
- Report - To the Internet Service Provider and Social Media Site (check the Terms and Conditions).
- Report – To the Police if the incident threatens violence, messages and photos are sexually explicit, the incident incites hate, racism and stalking.
- Report – To the school if the incident involves other pupils at the school.
“Cyber bullying is relentless, remorseless and very public” said Jane McFall, from Cornwall Learning. “If it is not reported, it does not stop and can result in the victim suffering from depression, low self-esteem, isolation and low achievement. In the most serious cases, the victim can become suicidal.”
“Parents, carers and children can work together to prevent cyber bullying from taking place by following the rules below.”
The importance of using the internet and social networking sites safely has also been stressed by Ben Haddy, deputy member of the youth parliament (MYP) for Mid Cornwall.
"Before going online and on social networking sites you should always stop and think about the information you put on” he said.
“Common sense still applies on the internet; don't add people you don't talk to or even like in real life.”
There is a huge amount of advice and guidance available online on using the Internet and social media technology safely. To access this information enter the phrase ‘Staying Safe Online’ into any search engine or visit the following sites: Think u know Digizen.org Childnet.com or contact Childline on 0800 1111 or UK SaferInternet Centre on 0844 800 2382.
The council says that schools in Cornwall take the issue of internet safety "very seriously" and that all schools have e-safety and internet use policies which clearly set out what students can and cannot do and robust systems to monitor internet use which are in line with national guidelines.
The couincil added that work has also been carried out in primary and secondary schools across Cornwall to raise the profile of e-safety and ensure that children understand the risks of using the internet and stay safe from people who might seek them out to harm them.
“The internet is an integral part of the lives of children and young people” said Andrew Wallis, the council’s cabinet member for children and young people. “It gives them access to a world of information and experiences, but children, young people and importantly, their parents should be also aware of the dangers of internet use.”
“Whether on a computer at school, a laptop or tablet at home, a games console or mobile phone, children and young people are increasingly accessing the internet whenever they can and wherever they are and we all need to work together to ensure they know how to safeguard themselves online."
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