How can you prevent cyberbullying?


Talk with your child about cyberbullying

Open up a discussion with your child about cyberbullying. It's the best way to show them you think it's important to their lives – and will make it easier for them to come to you in the future:

Learn about what your child does online

While you didn't grow up with it yourself, your child's use of social networking, texting, and a whole range of online activity can seem very foreign. Find out what your kids are doing online. It's the first important step to keeping them safe:

Set ground rules for your child's online activity

If you haven't already, start setting some ground rules with your child about their online activity.

Teach your child safe online behaviour

A lot of social networking activity is entirely harmless and is part of the way kids today stay connected with each other. But there are also serious risks. Help your child understand what they are.

Teach your child how to respond to cyberbullying

A child can become a target of cyberbullying without ever expecting it. It can happen suddenly. You can help your child by teaching them in advance what to do should it ever happen to them.

Be available to help your child

Whether it's something they've done themselves, or they've seen someone else do, you want your child to be comfortable enough to come to you if there's a problem.

Websites and apps your child may be using

It can be hard to keep up with all of the tools that teens are using to communicate and socialize online. Though not an exhaustive list, the following are some of the more popular social networking sites and apps teens are using today. Many apps and social networks have age requirements in place, but you should still be sure that the ones your child is visiting are safe and age-appropriate.

AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) is an instant messaging program where users can communicate with “buddys.” A user can view other users' profiles, as well as when they're online, their status and away messages.
Age requirement: 13+

Ask.fm is a question-and-answer social networking site used by millions of tweens and teen users. Once an account is created, other users on the site can ask questions and make comments, and are able to do so anonymously. Because Ask.fm is integrated with Facebook and Twitter, anything posted on Ask.fm can easily be shared on those sites with little or no effort.
Age requirement: 13+
Ask.fm FAQs for parents

Blackberry Messenger is an instant messaging service included on BlackBerry devices that allows messaging and voice calls between BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Phone and Android users.
Age requirement: 13 +_
Blackberry - Turn on Parental Controls

Facebook is a social media network where users can create a profile, post status updates, photos and videos, add "friends," exchange messages, and receive notifications when others update their profiles. Users can also create and join groups.

Age requirement: 13+
Facebook Safety Tips: Help Your Teens Play It Safe

Flickr is a free application that helps users share and manage their photos. Users upload their own photos, and other users can view and comment on them. Photos on Flickr can be viewed without an account, but only registered users can add their own photos.
Age requirement: 13+

Instagram is a free photo-sharing, video-sharing, and social networking service that allows users to share their photos and videos. Users can link their Instagram accounts to other social media services, like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, to share their photos. All photos are public by default; therefore you don't need an Instagram account to view photos. However, the user may choose to make their account private, in which case only their approved followers could look at their photos.
Age requirement: 13+
Instagram Safety Tips: Tips for Parents

Keek is a video-sharing app that lets users share short video clips called 'keeks' with other users. Users can follow and/or subscribe to other users and respond to keeks with text or video comments via 'keekbacks'.
Age requirement: 13+

Kik is a free mobile messaging app that can replace the usual texting plan offered through your mobile device. Teens like it because it makes it easy to add video and pictures to a text. Teens can share their private Kik usernames on public social networks like Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Age requirement: 13+ (Teens 13-17 years old require permission from a parent or legal guardian.)
Kik's Guide for Parents

MeetMe is a social network where users can find other nearby users to chat.
Age requirement: 13+

Omegle is a free chat website that allows users to communicate with strangers. Registration is not required. The service randomly pairs users in one-on-one chat sessions where they can chat anonymously. A video mode is also available that pairs together users who have webcams and microphones.
Age requirement: 13+

Pheed is a social networking platform available as both a website and mobile app. Users can follow celebrities who use the app and can also share text, photos, and videos, audio and live broadcasts. One distinctive feature on Pheed is that users have the option of having a public 'channel' that anyone can see, or they have the option of charging a fee to users to view their channel.
Age requirement: 13+

Pinterest is an application that allows users to save and share “pins,” which are visual bookmarks to an item, page, or website that interests them. A collection of bookmarks forms a board, which other users can view and interact with.
Age requirement: 13+

Reddit allows registered users to submit content, such as posts or website links, which other users can view and vote on. In addition, users can also add friends which allow them to comment on what their friends are posting. Registration is free and does not require an email address.
Age requirement: Not intended for users under 13.

Secret is a mobile app that allows users to share messages anonymously with their friends, friends of friends, and the public. It differs from other anonymous sharing apps because it is intended for sharing with friends instead of unknown users.
Age requirement: 17+

Shots is a mobile app for sharing selfies; the app uses photos taken with a device's front-facing camera. The app does not allow public comments on photos, but users who follow each other can send private messages.
Age requirement: 13+

Skype is an application that specializes in providing video chat and voice calls. Users can also send instant messages, exchange files and images, send video messages and create conference calls. Skype-to-Skype calls are free.
Age requirement: None

SnapChat is a photo-sharing app with one distinct feature: the photos or videos you send disappear after seconds (up to a maximum of 10 seconds). While it can be used innocently for a wide range of images, users often feel protected by the temporary nature of the images to share more intimate photos.
Age requirement: Not intended for children under the age of 13. Minors aged 13-17 should have permission from a parent or legal guardian.
Snapchat Guide for Parents

Streetchat is an app that lists schools that are nearby. Users can join a school's network and post anonymous photos and messages. Proof of enrolment at the school is not required. Submissions can be “upvoted” or “downvoted” by other users to compete for popularity.
Age requirement: 14+

Tagged is a social networkfor relationships and dating. Users can create and view other profiles, post photos and videos, send and receive notifications for "Luv", "Winks", and "Meet Me". Users can communicate in real time in chat rooms.
Age requirement: 18+

TheDirty.com is a website where users can post photos, rumours and gossip about other individuals.
Age requirement: None

Tinder is a matchmaking mobile app that identifies other Tinder users in a specific radius for a user to view and potentially contact. Users are authenticated by connecting the app to their Facebook profile.
Age requirement: 13+

Tumblr is a platform and social networking website that allows users to post photos, videos, and multimedia to their blog. Users can follow other users' blogs, as well as make their blogs private.
Age requirement: 13+

Twitter is a social networking site that allows registered users to read and send “tweets,” 140-character messages. Photos and videos (see Vine) can also be tweeted. Users can “follow” other users, and profiles can be public or private depending on the user's chosen privacy settings. Unregistered users can view tweets from any public account.
Age requirement: None

Vine is a video-sharing service where users can upload 6-second long video clips that replay in a loop. Users can “revine” to share a video with their followers. Vine videos can also be shared on other social networking sites.
Age requirement: 17+

Voxer is an app that works like a walkie-talkie; users can send real-time voice messages directly to another Voxer user. Users can also leave messages just like voice mail. When privacy controls aren't put in place for the app, userscan receive messages from anonymous Voxer users.
Age requirement: 13+

Wattpad allows users to post articles, stories, and poems. Users can comment, like submissions, and join groups.
Age requirement: 13+

WhatsApp is a free messaging service for mobile devices. Like Kik, it effectively replaces the text messaging from your mobile service provider. In addition to text messaging, you can send other users photos, videos, and short audio messages. Once you install the app, it checks your contact list for anyone else you know who is already using WhatsApp, and connects you automatically.
Age requirement: 16+.

Whisper is a free mobile app that allows users to anonymously post content and send and receive private messages.
Age requirement: 18+ (17 with consent of a parent or guardian.)

Yik Yak is an anonymous social media mobile app where users can create, respond, and like or dislike messages, or "Yaks" from other users that are within close proximity.
Age requirement: 17+

For more info see Children, teens and social networking.

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