Fighting technology with technology: protecting children from cyber bullies

Technology has altered the way we live. This goes for both positive interactions with technology, such as keeping in touch with family overseas, as well as the negative aspects, such as cyber bullying, cyber stalking and cyber terrorism.

Cyber bullying is no different to traditional bullying, aside from it leveraging technology. Cyber bullies use of technologies, such as email, text messages and social networking sites to hurt their victims, prowling the common platforms used by teenagers, including Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and Skype.

But how do we adapt our anti-bullying strategies to deal with cyber bullying, given its innate ability to invade not just our children’s school lives, but also their home life? The answer is that we all have a role to play in combating cyber bullying. Leading the way are our schools. Australian schools have already developed a number of measures to help combat cyber bullying, minimising the impact on our children. These measures include formulating policies that outline how the school will deal with cyber bullies; educating the student cohort about the impact of cyber bullying; responding to cyber bullying complaints; and providing support through counselors and pastoral care programmes for those who have been victimised.

Technical measures have also been introduced in the form of content filtering and monitoring. These approaches draw upon digital technologies to filter out communications that may be deemed inappropriate, as well as monitoring the websites students visit and their behaviours while on school networks. This enables schools to collect evidence of cyber bullying incidences and hold those responsible to account. School ICT departments play a critical role in managing these filtering and monitoring systems, ensuring they stay one step ahead of today’s technically savvy teens…Click HERE to read full article.

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