Keep kids safe online

Cyber-bullying has no boundaries, it can reach a child or teen anywhere and at any time. That’s why during Crime Prevention Week (Nov. 1-7), the Province is sharing with B.C. families some of the best ways to protect kids from being bullied online.

Cyber-bullying is a complex problem that comes in many forms and is constantly evolving as technology changes. People who engage in cyber-bullying can often be more cruel and aggressive because the Internet gives them a certain level of anonymity.

Cyber-bullying can include actions like:

* Posting or sharing false information or images online, in emails or texts without consent.
* Repeatedly sending threatening, mean or insulting messages.
* Pretending to be someone else and saying or doing things online that are not true, or are intended to cause harm or damage a person’s reputation.
* Pressuring others to exclude someone from a “community” – online or offline.

To help end cyber-bullying:

* Do not respond. The bully is looking for a reaction. By not responding, you are taking away their power.
* Save the evidence. There is usually physical evidence of cyber-bullying such as harassing messages, threatening text messages or Facebook postings. These can be saved and shown to someone who can help.
* Talk to a trusted adult. There are people who will help. It can be a parent, a teacher or a trusted adult. If you are really nervous about saying anything, there is usually a way of reporting the incident anonymously at school.
* Be a friend, not a bystander. Watching or forwarding mean messages empowers a bully. If you can, tell bullies to stop or let them know harassment makes people look mean. It is time to let people who bully know their behaviour is unacceptable.