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6 Tips to Protect Your Teen From a Cyber-Bully

Bullying, unfortunately, is nothing new. Most kids, at some point, are going to be the victim of a bully. As scary as bullying can be for teens, it’s also worrisome for you as a parent.

And, as if parents don’t have enough to worry about, now there's a new bully on the block-- called a cyber-bully. This type of bully can do his work from anywhere.

What Exactly Is a Cyber-Bully?

A cyber-bully is someone who harasses others using electronic means. From spreading rumors online, to harassing text messages, or even emailing inappropriate content, the cyber-bully wreaks havoc using a cell phone, computer, or other electronic device.

Ways to Prevent Cyber-Bullying

So, as a parent, what can you do to prevent your child from falling prey to a cyber-bully?

  • Make sure your teen keeps all of her passwords private. Passwords shouldn’t be given to anyone (other than you, the parent), even best friends.
  • Tell your teen to keep her communication online positive or neutral. If she is angry at someone, it's best to just let it go. It’s important that your teen understands to never send an email or an instant message that may come back to haunt her.
  • Place limits on your teen’s Internet time as well as her mobile use. Your teen doesn't need to be online all the time. Spending less time online means your teen will be less susceptible to cyber-bullies.
  • Talk to your kids about internet safety. Keep the family computer in a common area of the house, and monitor your teen’s online use. If your child knows you are monitoring her online activities, she may be more likely to tell you immediately when she is being cyber-bullied. This will give you the opportunity to do something about it as soon as it occurs.

Cyber-bullying has become more common as teens use the Internet to keep in touch with friends and hang out on social networking sites. As a parent, the more you know about this problem and take steps to prevent it, the better chance your teen will have a great experience online.