How do I deal with cyberbullying?

The Australian Communications and Media Authority’s Cybersmart website has some excellent information on how to deal with cyberbullying. Topics include:

  • What does cyberbullying look like?
  • How do I deal with it?
  • What if a friend is being bullied online?
  • Am I a cyberbully?

Useful tips, links and resources.

Digital citizens’ guide

The Australian Communications and Media Authority‘s website Cybersmart has developed and published new cybersmart material for Australians. Looking at how our online behaviours affect us and our networks, the following video and accompanying resources encourage us to relate positively in all our online communications.

It’s privacy week

This week is Privacy Awareness Week, so it seems like a great opportunity to share some thoughts on how you and your family can have your privacy protected.

Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim spoke to ACMA Cybersmart and shares his advice for safeguarding your digital identity.

Here are some recommendations from me for protecting privacy online and when using smart devices:

  • Read the privacy policy of the social networking site or app — make sure your kids know what they’re signing up for. You can also tell them that reading the privacy information that is provided may also help control privacy settings.
  • Be careful about what information you give out — have your kids asked themselves what information is really needed or whether they can use a pseudonym?
  • Use the privacy tools available — make sure the anti-virus and anti-spyware software is up-to-date on your home computers and any laptops, and talk to your kids about updating their privacy settings on their social media.
  • Think twice before posting any personal information about yourself or others online — the internet is forever, and once it’s out there, it will always be there. I think it’s useful to encourage your children to think about whether they would like their grandmother, teacher, a potential employer or a future boy/girlfriend to see/read it.

The cybersmart post contains further tips, click here to access.

Younger teens stand up to cyberbullying

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has recently published the early findings into research on cyberbullying with the following results:

According to the ACMA’s research, more than one in five 14 to 15-year-olds has experienced cyberbullying, compared to sixteen per cent of 16 to 17-year-olds. Twelve per cent of 14 to 15-year-olds report that they have frequently witnessed cyberbullying.

‘The good news is that these young people are prepared to stand up and speak out about cyberbullying. Fourteen and 15-year-olds reported that they frequently took action by telling the cyberbully to stop (14 per cent), defending the target of the bullying (20 per cent), or ignoring the cyberbullying behaviour (21 per cent),’ Richard Bean said.

Levels of cyberbullying among Australian children remain generally steady despite increases in online participation, indicating that the cybersafety messages underpinning programs such as Cybersmart are getting through.

Read the rest of the early findings here.

How much internet is too much?

Dr. Philip Tam, a Child/ Adolescent Psychiatrist and President/ Co-Founder of niira, the Network for Internet Investigation and Research Australia has written a post on internet addiction for the Australian Communications and Media Authority (cyber: smart) blog.

Some of the questions I am asked when assessing a child or teenager with problematic internet use are: How common is this problem in the community? How can parents try to manage or control their child’s heavy (or even extreme) computer use? Can it cause lasting damage and harm to a developing individual?

There have been a number of studies done internationally and in Australia looking at just how big an issue problematic internet use might be. There is an emerging consensus that around five to 10 per cent of all regular computer or internet users (including those who enjoy gaming) might have a problem with excessive use.

Parents have a key role in managing their child’s internet use. Talk to your child, and monitor what games, apps and devices are bought or used by your child. Look out for warning signs that a problem may be emerging, such as reduced school performance or attendance, lack of sleep, not eating and becoming withdrawn from friends and family.

In an upcoming post, Dr Tam will look at available treatments.

Youth and Media – Parents, Teens, and Online Privacy

This video came to my attention through the ACMA Cybersmart YouTube Channel.

The video is about a mother who friends her son on Facebook.

This video was made by the Youth and Media Summer Interns 2012 at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

It was created to make research findings on youth, parents, and online privacy accessible to a broader audience and to stimulate discussion among youth and parents.

The characters in this movie are fictional. However, a select number of quotes were taken directly from focus group interviews with youth, conducted by Youth and Media.
The video also includes data from the Pew (Pew Internet & American Life Project) report :

Cybernetrix games

Cybernetrix is an interactive online experience developed by Cybersmart – an initiative of the Australian Communications and Media Authority. It’s produced for secondary students with the aim to inform them about cybersafety through fun activities.

Topics such as

are canvassed. Could be worth a look at over the holidays.

The interview

ACMA’s Cybersmart has published this short video as a reminder about how what we post online could affect us. They explain:

Keep your digital reputation clean and think twice about posting pics…they could affect you later in ways you couldn’t dream of!