Half of parents don’t know if children are bullied online

Family|March 23rd 2015

Over half of British parents do not know if their children are being bullied over the internet, a new survey suggests.

Researchers interviewed 971 parents and grandparents. Fifty-four per cent admitted they would have “no idea” if their child was being victimised online or not. Similarly, 52 per cent said they would not know how to deal with such a situation if they became aware of it.

They were also asked who they would contact if they discovered their child was being bullied online. Seventy per cent said they would contact the website the incident had occurred on directly, 45 per cent said they would notify their child’s school and 38 per cent said they would confront the bully themselves.

The survey was conducted by antivirus company Eset. Mark James, a security specialist for the company, said that what made online bullying different from more traditional forms was that a “child’s bully can follow them into their room”. This can make it “even more daunting for a child as there is often no escape”, he said.

The problem is often called ‘cyberbullying’ and it appears to be on the rise as children have more access to the internet via smartphones and tablets. Earlier this month, charity Childline reported that calls regarding online abuse had doubled in the last year.

Photo by Miika Silfverberg via Flickr

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