The internet is an amazing resource of content for kids be it for educational or entertainment purposes however, it can also be a source of bad content which they may encounter at any time.
Some of this include experiences that make them feel bothered or upset often referred to as cyberbullying and can present itself in the form of inappropriate comments or photographs.
As part of any Internet Safety Campaign, the STOP, BLOCK and TELL Internet Safety Code helps young surfers deal with such encounters.
The first step is to stop the content coming into their phone or computer. If a kid feels something is not right – even if they are not sure why – the first step is always to stop it. That means
- not replying to a post,
- not sharing a post, comment or photo.
- not writing something like “go away” or “leave me alone”.
Although there is an age limit to using most social media apps, kids are sometimes still allowed to use them. If that is the case, they should know how to block a user who is bothering them. Blocking a user means they can no longer contact them.
The third step is to tell someone that they are worried or upset about something they have seen on the Internet. They should first go to someone in their family, but an adult or trusted person who will take action for them is also OK. Being a victim of cyberbullying can sometimes mean they are afraid to speak out; but telling someone is the first step to solving the problem.