Defending your kids from cyber bullying | News

This past week, Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment focused on building a digital defense to protect your kids from cyber bullying.

Oregon FBI recently talked about cell phone safety, but no matter how much care you take, that phone can serve as an open door to cyber bullies.

Here are some basic phone tips to keep your child safe:

* Talk early and often to your students about the dangers that they may find on the other end of the line. If your child is old enough to carry a phone to school, he is old enough to have a frank discussion with you. Be open and responsive. If your child does encounter a bully or other disturbing content, you want him to feel like he can come to you to for help.

* Ensure that your child is sharing every social media account and instant messaging service she has with you — including the passwords.

* Check those accounts — as well as instant messaging programs and texts — for disturbing content on a regular basis. You and your kids should have a non-negotiable understanding that this access is a requirement for continued phone use.

* Make sure your child is using appropriate screen names. “Babygirl2005” and “sweet16” may sound cute and innocent — but they can be a beacon to predators.

* Talk to your kids about what constitutes appropriate language and photos. If they would be embarrassed — or worse — to see what they wrote or posted on a billboard outside their home or school — they shouldn’t send it. It is crucial that they understand that just because something starts out as a private communication between two people does not mean that it can’t be shared with thousands of people in mere seconds. One sexually explicit photo can change a life forever.

* Teach them to program the privacy settings on social media feeds to the highest level and to reject any “friend requests” from those they don’t know…

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