According to Susan McLean, being a “good digital citizen” means appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use”. Susan is an Australian expert in the area of cybersafety and young people. She gives 10 top tips on the question: “What can I do if my child is being harassed on-line?”
1. Do not be angry with your child – remember that they are the victim and it is someone else doing the wrong thing.
2. Praise them for coming to you – this is a big step as most children are frightened to tell a parent.
3. Save and store the emails, chat logs or SMS’s in case of Police investigation.
4. Take screen shots wherever possible and save them.
5. Help your child to block and delete the offender from all contact lists.
6. Do not respond to nasty emails, chats, SMS or comments – this is what the perpetrator wants, so ignore them (help children with this).
7. Use the ‘report abuse’ button which all websites/applications have. Tell them the problems you are having. They are obligated to investigate.
8. Have some ‘down time’ without a computer/device (this isn’t punishment, rather some peaceful time where they aren’t being bothered).
9. If unwanted contact continues, consider deleting your email etc and start a new account. Only give your new details to trusted friends.
10. Get a new phone number if being harassed on your phone. Report the problem to your phone company and insist on a new number for free.
11. Inform the College. It is important that they know what is going on so that they can monitor any issues at school.
Mr Mark Ash / Principal