Debate on “mobile” cyberbullying at # MWC15

March 4, 2015

Research by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International revealed that almost a quarter (22%) of parents feel that they cannot control what their children see or do on the Internet, although almost half (48%) worry that they may become victims of cyberbullying. As part of a global campaign to educate and assist children and their parents in the fight against cyberbullying, Kaspersky Lab organized a high-level panel to discuss the issue at the World Mobile Phone Congress (MWC) 2015 in Barcelona.

Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab, commented: “The Internet brings many benefits, but unfortunately it also allows certain people to unleash their destructive human characteristics, and cyberbullying has become a widespread problem today. For its victims, the psychological damage can be massive and lasting. There may not be a pure technology answer, but we need to talk about it to raise awareness of this problem and help young people and their parents to make use of most of the good things the Internet has in the safest way. to offer ».

“Cyberbullying… and bullying in general… is certainly a problem for young people, and it must be tackled in a comprehensive way to include parents and teachers as well as children and adolescents. The main problem is that our communication tools have evolved enormously in the last decades, however, literacy skills have not kept pace, ”said Janice Richardson, Senior Advisor at European Schoolnet and co-founder of Insafe, during the panel discussion at the World Congress of Mobile Telephony.

The research also showed that well-meaning efforts by adults to give their children some privacy could, in fact, make them more vulnerable to online bullying and abuse. For example, only 19% say they are friends or follow their children on social media and only 39% monitor their children’s online activity. Only 38% have spoken with their children about risks on the Internet, which could reflect a lack of trust and understanding.

The study found that minors are often reluctant to admit they are cyberbullying: A quarter (25%) of parents whose children have been bullied online said it had been a long time before they found out. This is particularly concerning because cyberbullying can easily spill over into bullying in the real world, as 26% of affected parents found.

The long-term emotional impact of cyberbullying can be devastating for young people, and parents need to know it so they can stop it. The Kaspersky Lab study found that 44% of parents whose children had been cyberbullied intervened to prevent it – leaving more than half who did not.

It can be difficult to completely prevent cyberbullying, but there are some simple steps that can be taken to protect children from the problem and its consequences.

For example, reviewing privacy settings on social media allows adults to help their children control who can see their posts and write messages to them. Making full use of parental control settings in applications and security solutions can offer strong protection and peace of mind.

But it is necessary to go beyond technology. Parents should explain to their children the importance of keeping personal information private, and not revealing details like address, phone number, school name, credit card number, and more – online; think about what they are sharing and with whom; and who to turn to for help anytime they feel harassed or intimidated.

More information about cyberbullying and advice on how to combat it can be found on the Kaspersky Lab education portal:

  • Cyberbullying could affect children as young as five
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