Spotting Signs of Cyberbullying and Keeping Kids Safe on WhatsApp
Cyberbullying is becoming prevalent on social media and online gaming platforms. Thanks to advanced technology, the internet, and digital devices, bullying is no longer confined to school classrooms and playgrounds. By using the technology means, bullies can target their victims easily on the internet without revealing their identities. It has been witnessed that cases of cyberbullying have come to the surface ever since kids started spending more time online due to the lockdown situation.
The thing with cyberbullying is that it can be difficult to spot the first time. The reason is that many kids and teens who are being bullied online often fail to realize what is happening to them in the beginning. The majority of times they intentionally do not tell their parents or teachers about being bullied online because they are embarrassed.
They think if they tell someone about cyberbullying, the situation might get worse for them. For instance, their parents could take away their computer or smartphone privileges and deprive them of using the internet as well as various social media apps.
Cyberbullying is seen to be rising profusely on instant messaging apps like WhatsApp. Often kids and teens get added to WhatsApp group chats where they easily become targets to cyberbullies and predators. Proper communication with kids about cyberbullying and monitoring their instant messages with WhatsApp spy Android or iPhone app can help you ensure your kids’ safety on the app. Let’s discuss this more in detail.
Cyberbullying Becoming Widespread on Instant Messaging Apps
Cyberbullying is growing on social media and instant messaging apps more than ever. Every other day, we hear stories and cases of cyberbullying on the news channels. That’s where it hits you what if the same thing happened to your kid? How would they deal with it?
Several research studies have proved that vulnerable kids and kids with thinking and learning differences are more likely to get bullied online than other kids. Because they have “low self-esteem” and cannot stand up for themselves, they are targeted by bullies on different online platforms.
Even bullies consciously target those victims who are lonely, have poor social and communication skills, and do not have many friends. Since anyone can have access to the internet and various social media platforms, bullying in the digital age has become easier. All a cyberbully needs to do is create an anonymous or fake account, look for their target on social media, and send your kid a hurtful, threatening, and embarrassing message.
As far as WhatsApp is concerned, a bully simply needs to create a WhatsApp account, look for your kid’s mobile number, and send them a message on the app. This happens when a bully has gotten hold of your kid’s mobile number. In case, they do not have access to their number, they can look for random mobile numbers on various WhatsApp groups and check if any of them belongs to a kid. If they are successful in tracking a kid’s number, they can simply reach out to them with a text.
Besides WhatsApp, cyberbullying has become increasingly widespread on social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram. Bullies locate kids’ accounts there and drop private messages in their DMs. What’s more, they can also leave mean, excruciatingly embarrass comments under their posts. Receiving such vicious messages and comments from random strangers can cause mental distress to your kids and make them suffer from anxiety and depression.
How to Spot Signs of Cyberbullying
One of the ways to tackle cyberbullying is being able to spot the signs at the right time. Once your kid and yourself can recognize the signs of cyberbullying, you can nip the bud in time and protect your kids from detrimental consequences from this vicious online danger.
If you think your kid or teen is experiencing something bad or feeling uncomfortable by something on the internet and they are not telling you about it, it is important for you to learn about the possible signs that someone is bullying them online. You should know how to spot signs of cyberbullying before concluding something.
Your kid could be a victim of cyberbullying if any of the below situations arise:
- Your kid has stopped using the computer, smartphone, or any other digital device that they were using before, even though they really enjoyed spending time on it.
- Your kid has started to avoid using the digital device in your presence or they have started using them in a place where you can’t see their screens.
- Your kid has started turning off the computer, closing a certain screen, or putting down their smartphone as soon as you appear before them.
- Your kid acts overwhelmed or nervous whenever they receive a text message, instant message, or email on their device.
- Your kid indirectly talks about bullying by saying that there is a lot of drama going on in their school or that they do not have any friends.
- Your kid has started saying that he does not want to go to school anymore or shows a lot of moods before attending school.
- Your kid has started to become withdrawn from everything that they used to enjoy before.
- Your kid has stopped taking interest in their studies and has been receiving poor grades in their subjects.
- Your kid has stopped going out with their friends.
- Your kid has stopped showing any interest in physical or outdoor activities.
- Your kid has a loss of appetite, does not sleep well, or complains of having constant headaches or stomach aches.
These are some of the common signs that could be related to your kid being bullied by someone on the internet. If you witness any of these signs in your kids, be sure that they could be experiencing cyberbullying. Once it is clear that someone is trying to bully your kids, it is time for you to take some necessary safety measures.
Helping Kids Tackle Cyberbullying and Staying Safe Online
If your kids and teens are being bullied by someone online, you need to make them feel empowered to tackle the problem on their own. They must be taught to deal with cyberbullies or any other online danger that they may come across on the internet.
Here are some effective ways for your kid to deal with cyberbullying and staying safe online:
Block/Report/Delete the Person Who Is Bullying Them
Teach your kid to block, report, or delete the person who is trying to bully them. Tell them it’s okay to get rid of the person on their account who is purposely making them feel uncomfortable for no reason. Once they block, report, or delete the bully from their account, they won’t receive any offensive or embarrassing messages from them.
Keep Any Evidence of Bullying
Another best way to tackle cyberbullying is to keep evidence of bullying. If your kid receives threatening messages from someone, make sure that they save the evidence by taking a screenshot. The evidence can help you take some legal action against the bully.
Delete the Bullying Message
As soon as your kid has saved the evidence of bullying on their device, they need to get rid of it immediately. Make sure your kid deletes the bullying message or post from their social media account. Also, teach them not to share, forward, or send it to any other person on the internet because they might share it with someone else.
Report Cyberbullying Incident
One of the effective ways to get rid of cyberbullying is teaching your kids to report about it. They can either inform their parents or teachers if or when someone tries to bully them online. Once they tell someone about it, they would feel less lonely and less threatened.
With these effective tips, you can teach your kids to deal with cyberbullying smartly. Kids need to understand how to use social media safely and wisely, only then they can stay away from such problems.
Besides educating your kids about online dangers including cyberbullying and teaching them various ways to tackle online problems through a direct conversation, you, as a parent, should also keep a close eye on their smartphone and online activities.
For instance, you can opt for Mobistealth as it is considered the official WhatsApp spy tool these days for its incredible ability to monitor all incoming and outgoing conversations on the instant messaging app. WhatsApp monitoring is one of the most remarkable features of the Mobistealth app.
All you need to download the app, install it on your kid’s smartphone, and remotely monitor their WhatsApp activity without troubling them. The monitoring app works silently in the background of your kid’s device while it records all the WhatsApp activity taking place on it.
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