Story image

Do you know if your child is being cyberbullied? These are the red flags

21 Jun 2016

For some countries, the summer holidays are just around the corner and most school kids are looking forward to taking a break from homework and waking up early. Some of them, however, will enjoy being away from school for altogether less pleasant reasons – to get away from­ bullies, who bother them offline or online over social networks.

Unfortunately, not every parent can distinguish common teenage difficulties from the red flags raised by insidious peers. As June 17th was Stop Cyberbullying Day, we have prepared a list of indicators that can help parents recognise whether their offspring are being (cyber)bullied.

Snappy answers and moods swings

Frequent moods swings do not necessarily mean that your children are being bothered by their peers. However, if these are accompanied by jumpy and nervous reactions to common questions, especially after disconnecting from the virtual world, it’s time to ask if they are having any trouble.

Parents should not be satisfied with “good” and “fine” responses, as these don’t always mean good and fine. Sometimes you have to dig deeper to find out how your kid really feels about his/her experience online. Watch out for snappy responses – these are another common denominator for many cases of cyberbullying.

Deleted social network account

If your child suddenly quits a favorite social network, be aware. In an age where young people invest significant time to being online and engaging with social media, deleting accounts might be a signal that something serious is going on in their lives. Parental control tools, installed on a child’s device, will give parents a good overview of which apps he/she prefers and frequently uses.

Withdrawing from friends and family in real life

It is only natural that teenagers are trying to become more independent from their parents and thus devote more time into building their own network of friends. Yet, if they distance themselves from the latter, hide from the outside world in their rooms and avoid social media as well as their devices, something is amiss.

Dramatic physical changes

Has your child suddenly lost weight or their appetite? Does he/she have trouble sleeping during the night and look stressed out in the morning? Again, this might be a sign of many things, but if combined with some of the aforementioned points, there is a good chance of bullying either offline or online.

Pretending to be sick trying and to avoid school

“I don’t feel so good.” “My tummy hurts.” “Can I skip school today?” Almost every child uses these excuses from time to time. Be it an exam he/she is not prepared for or just a difficult day at school, it is common to try to avoid whatever is causing distress. However, if your child pretends to be ill too often, there might a more serious issue behind it, such as a fear of an inevitable conflict with the bully.

Article by Ondrej Kubovic, security evangelist at ESET

Seagate: Data trends, opportunities, and challenges at the edge
The development of edge technology and the rise of big data have brought many opportunities for data infrastructure companies to the fore.
Popular Android apps track users and violate Google's policies
Google has reportedly taken action against some of the violators.
How blockchain could help stop video piracy in its tracks
An Australian video tech firm has successfully tested a blockchain trial that could end up being a welcome relief for video creators and the fight against video piracy.
IBM X-Force Red & Qualys introduce automated patching
IBM X-Force Red and Qualys are declaring a war on unpatched systems, and they believe automation is the answer.
Micro Focus acquires Interset to improve predictive analytics
Interset utilises user and entity behavioural analytics (UEBA) and machine learning to give security professionals what they need to execute threat detection analysis.
Raising the stakes: McAfee’s predictions for cybersecurity
Security teams and solutions will have to contend with synergistic threats, increasingly backed by artificial intelligence to avoid detection.
Exclusive: Ping Identity on security risk mitigation
“Effective security controls are measured and defined by the direct mitigation of inherent and residual risk.”
CylancePROTECT now available on AWS Marketplace
Customers now have access to CylancePROTECT for AI-driven protection across all Windows, Mac, and Linux (including Amazon Linux) instances.