While many stats out there represent how frequently kids are involved in cyberbullying incidents, a new study from Norton Canada shows that, unfortunately, girls are more likely to be cyberbullied than boys. In the Norton Cyerbullying Survey, conducted this past February, 86% of parents said they had a daughter who had been cyberbullied, and 55% of parents had a son who was bullied.
The study also found that 63% of cyberbullying was done through social media, such as networking sites like Facebook. 25% of bullying is done over email, and 19% through cell phone use. As if middle school wasn’t hard enough, cyberbullying via cell phone is most common in middle school-aged kids, occurring amongst 52% of kids aged 13- to 14-years-old. Of all aged kids bullied through cell phones, 22% of girls and 14% of boys had experienced it.
In addition to cyberbullying as a concern for many parents, online predators and sex offenders are other dangers that parents associate with online use. Of the parents polled, 32% admitted they don’t completely know what their child does while online, but 44% worry that their child’s online activities could result in direct contact with an online predator.
Studies like these are important in that they highlight the possible dangers out there, and also reveal what parents’ biggest online concerns are. In these kinds of surveys, parents admit that they have fears about their kids’ social networking activities but many of them don’t implement any kind of monitoring system or guidelines to keep tabs on their kids’ online behaviors. Parents need to understand that even if their kids have impeccable social networking records and online reputations, there are still uncontrollable risks out there – such as cyberbullying and predators – that they need to help monitor in order to keep kids safe.
Has your child ever been involved in a cyberbullying incident?