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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Parents can protect kids from cyber-bullying: study

AFP   June 05, 2014
First Published: 16:03 IST(5/6/2014) | Last Updated: 17:12 IST(5/6/2014)

An annual study conducted by security software firm McAfee and released recently indicates that parents can play a key role in keeping cyber-bullying to a minimum among teens.

A total of 1,502 pre-teens and teens in the United States, aged 10 to 18, were interviewed over a two-week period in April of  2014. Although the findings are disturbing -- 87% of preteens and teens witnessed cyber-bullying in 2014, up from 27% in 2013 -- the data is helpful to parents and teens alike.

Read: How cyber-bullying wrecks young minds

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First of all, the data suggests parental involvement could prevent damaging reputations since 45%of teens said they would change their online behavior if they knew their parents were watching. Parents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with social networking sites if they prefer not to open accounts of their own and to obtain their children's passcodes.

YouTube was the most popular online sharing tool, with 97% of study participants saying they visited the site or app at least once per week. Instagram came in a close second.

Already, half of the study participants have regretted something they've posted online. Overall, however, 90% of those interviewed said they thought their parents trusted their online behavior.

In addition to websites and applications, the results of the study suggest parents should remain up to date about the actual devices their teens are using to exchange photos and text messages, and learn how to use them.

Above all, it's important to connect with kids on the subject, according to the study.


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