It is called sharenting!!
That is a big word for those parents who innocently share too much information about and images of their children. Even the posting of a sonogram to your social media account can provide too much information to strangers who should not have that data.
The result is what many schools have been warning parents about- the danger of cyber bullying. Too much sharing can lead to a myriad of abuse from their fellow classmates as well as other children who gather on those websites designed for students to hang out.
According to the schools, this oversharing can put your child or children at risk of harm through mugging, theft and other bullying options.
What Are The Dangers Of Sharing Pictures Or Videos Of Your Children On Social Media?
The biggest danger will be exposing your children to predators. Even when you have strict privacy settings on your social media account, those privacy settings do not stop close friends from sharing your information on their not-so-strict social media accounts.
That sharing can lead to many dangers for your children. Plus, even strict privacy settings can be hacked by expert hackers who will use the information you post for nefarious schemes.
It is possible that oversharing can lead to identity fraud later on in your child’s life. Most likely, the exposure of your children to the public can lead to cyber bullying that brings devastating results.
What Is Cyber-Bullying?
Cyber bullying is more digital than physical. While it leads to physical results, cyber bullying takes place solely online using a phone, laptop, tablet or PC. It is where one or a group of individuals share false information about the targeted child.
This activity is done just about anywhere information can be shared online. Gaming rooms, texts, apps, social media outlets and more. Plus, the content is designed to harm another individual through negative, harmful, false, or mean content.
Even e-mails are not excluded from being a format used to cyber bully someone else. That negative content is not just written but can be done through altered or unflattering or embarrassing photos and videos.
Cyberbullying takes place in almost all online activities with just about any type of data possible.
How To Deal With Cyber-Bullying?
One of the most important steps you can take is to check your local laws. There may be some anti-cyberbullying laws that will guide the school in what action they can legally take.
Also, the school can develop its own policies directing teachers and the administration on how to respond to cyberbullying. These policies can lay out the discipline to be used or if expulsion is appropriate to stop students from being cyberbullies.
Also, schools can create a safe atmosphere that allows bullied students privacy to report cyberbullying. Encourage students to find someone they trust to share what is going on. Those trusted individuals can be parents, a teacher, school counsellor, and even a privacy contact page on your school web design.
One of the drawbacks to fighting cyberbullying is that only the targeted student and those the messages are meant for know it is taking place. Most often parents and school officials and teachers have no idea what is going on till a child becomes brave enough to talk about it.
How To Protect Your Child From Being Cyber-Bullied?
There are several steps you can take to help protect your child from being cyberbullied. Here are a few suggestions to get you on the right path:
– educate your children to identify cyberbullying and then teach them not to respond in kind. Instead, teach your children to be respectful to others whether in person or online
– teach your children not to respond to cyberbullies but keep the information saved as evidence it is taking place. Also, instruct your children to block cyberbullies
– set boundaries- this is where you create rules for internet and phone use as well as what internet sites they can go to and which ones are off limits.
– help your child create privacy and location settings and instruct them that participating in cyber bullying is wrong and unacceptable if they participate in it
– monitor your child’s online activities and know how to identify cyberbullying
– document everything- take screenshots, record dates, times and the nature of the cyber bullying and other documentation so you have evidence if needed.
When you need guidance in this delicate issue, contact our company. One of our priorities is protecting children from cyberbullying.