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Cyberbullying Is Pervasive and Parents Are Oblivious

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Cyberbullying and online attacks are chronic and underrated problems on social media. A few years ago, we gained some insight into how teens were dealing with online bullying, and some social networks have made changes. However, it seems that parents are still largely oblivious to the problem.

Todd Schobel, founder and CEO of cyberbullying incident reporting app STOPit, noted that during STOPit Cyber Safety tours, they realized that there is a “deep lack of online safety awareness and education.” He continued:

None of us imagined it was as bad as having never seen a child’s social media account. We’re going to continue to educate as many individuals and schools as we can to bring attention to online safety issues and to provide a better way to report abuses online and off.

Of the 1,000 U.S. parents surveyed, 44 percent said they have never looked at their child’s Facebook or Instagram accounts. Parents are aware that their children are using social media, with 32 percent reporting that their child is on more than three social platforms, and 36 percent do have access to their children’s accounts in the forms of their passwords.

While advances in tackling online harassment have certainly helped address the problem of cyberbullying, parents can become a bigger part of the solution by being more engaged in the online lives of their children and teens.

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