Susan McLean, Cyber Safety Expert and  Generation Next speaker gives the following advice on how to help protect young people from being bullied online.

  1. Do not reply to rude or nasty comments.
  2. Immediately tell an adult if you feel uncomfortable or worried online.
  3. If someone is being mean or nasty on MSN – block them.
  4. Have your computer in a common area of the house NOT IN THE BEDROOM!
  5. Do not have a ‘flirty’ or ‘nasty’ log on name.
  6. Let your parents know where you go online – just as you would in real life.
  7. Make sure that there are filters and other monitoring/blocking software to minimise dangers.
  8. ABSOLUTELY NO EXCHANGE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION!
  9. Social Networking profiles such as MySpace, Facebook and Bebo MUST BE SET TO PRIVATE.
  10. MSN contacts and social networking site friends SHOULD be people that you know in real life.
  11. An ‘online friend’ that you don’t know in real life is a STRANGER.
  12. Passwords MUST NOT BE SHARED!!!!! Choose passwords that others can’t guess.
  13. Change passwords 4 times per year (last day of every term).
  14. Be aware that information on the internet is not always reliable.
  15. Your parents should check your hotmail/msn/social networking lists.
  16. If you are playing games online, YOUR parents should know how to play the game too in case of problems. Play online games together.
  17. Learn about search engines and how they work.
  18. The internet and the various applications are a lot of fun ……surf safely together with your parents!
  19. Immediately exit any site that makes you feel uncomfortable or worried.
  20. NEVER allow explicit photos of yourself to be taken in ANY circumstance.
  21. If you have found inappropriate content about yourself on a website or are informed about this situation please contact the ISP and or Police or tell your parents to do so a.s.a.p.
  22. Help your parents to learn about the internet – share your knowledge of the internet with your parents in a fun environment. If they have some knowledge they will be less likely to be suspicious about ‘socialising online’.
  23. There should be house rules about what information you can put onto websites or share with others.
  24. Remember that the internet is PERMANENT….be mindful of what you post and how you portray yourself. Pics etc can remain FOREVER.
  25. Misuse of the internet and associated technology (bullying/harassing someone) is a crime.…don’t break the law and risk getting a criminal record.

More information on cyber bullying can be found at CyberSafetySolutions.

Writer Helen Splarn. Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.
Source: Susan McLean. CyberSafetySolutions