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How to Protect your Child from cyberbullies?

(Photo Credit: shrink4men.wordpress.com)

FROM hate pages to extreme humiliation on the digital space, cyberbullying has caused severe stress, depression and anxiety among today's youth. While it is more prevalent in the US, cyberbullying has started creeping among Filipino children and teens at an alarming rate. More details after the jump.

With the high penetration rate of Filipino kids on the Internet, the risk of cyberbullying is also heightened. Eight out of 10 Filipino children (82%) access the Internet weekly while more than a third (37%) are daily Internet users. Seventy three per cent (73%) of Filipino teens have online social profiles as of 2010.

The thought of your child being bashed and bullied in the cyberspace is a nightmare for most parents.

But it is worse for the child being cyberbullied who could suffer from extreme depression that could lead to fatal consequences, as reported in recent newspaper accounts.

Here are some ways to protect your child from being cyberbullied:

1. Pay Attention to the ‘red flags'
Kids who suffer from cyberbullying give out signals that they need help. And parents should watch out for these signals. The child may suddenly become moody and constantly angry or begin to distance himself from the family or even his friends. Sometimes parents mistakenly see this as a normal growing up phase not knowing that these sudden change in behavior are actually cries for help. If the parent is attentive to these red flags, the problem may be resolved at once before it gets any bigger.

2. Level up!
If your child is active in the social network scene, you should be too. Create your own Facebook account if you still don't have one and make sure to add your child as "family." That way, you'll be able to see what your child is posting in cyberspace and the response that he or she is getting. Make sure, though, not to be intrusive in your child's social network activities.

3. Have a one-on-one talk with your child
As soon as your child mentions the word cyberbullying or any Internet threat that tends to bother him, sit down with him for a serious one-on-one. Listen to what he has to say, try to find out how he feels and what exactly disturbs him. Assure him that you are always there to support and help him in whatever he is going through. After he's done talking, make him understand what cyberbullying is and how seriously it affects the victim. At the same time, if your child happens to be the cyberbully, immediately step in and resolve the problem. Make your child understand that it is never right to tease, offend or bash someone, online or otherwise. Make the child understand the consequences of his actions.

4. Show support
Take cyberbullying seriously and support them through the next steps. This is a very difficult situation for your child so he will be needing your guidance to help him get through this. You may also tap professional help to work with you and your child on this problem.

5. Encourage your child
Help your child find safe and better things to do online. By protecting your child against Internet threats, it does not mean that you will stop him from exploring the cyber world where he could also learn and discover new things from if guided accordingly.

6. Take action
Parents who seriously want to protect their precious children from cyberbullying and other Internet threats but do not want to deprive them of the joy of learning and exploration that could be found in the digital space will find an ally in Tattoo@Home. "Tattoo@Home offers not just the best value-for-money offers but also exclusive add-ons including the Surf Safe suite which provides protection for the kids from exposure to adult sites, offensive music and videos, social networking risks and strangers," explains Jurist Gamban, Head of Tattoo@Home.

Tattoo@Home offers an exclusive bundle of McAfee anti virus and family protection suite that provides protection for kids and the whole family from practically all internet risks. It has filtering tool that sorts up and block sites deemed inappropriate for kids and regulate the time spent by the children in the computer:

•  The McAfee AntiVirus Plus keeps the computer secure with anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-malware, anti-bot, real-time safeguards, two-way firewall, and digital data shredder.
•  McAfee Family Protection which protects the kids safe and secure from exposure to adult sites, offensive music and videos, social networking risks, and strangers.
•  Surf Safe combines both the McAfee Anti Virus and McAfee Family Protection suite to keep the family's online experience safe and rewarding. A filtering tool sorts up and block sites deemed inappropriate for kids, and it can also regulate the time spent by children in the computer.

Tattoo is the back-to-back winner of the Philippines' Broadband Service Provider of the Year Award for 2011 and 2012 from the prestigious global business research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

Protect your kids from cyberbullies and subscribe to Tattoo@Home. To know which plan suits you best, visit www.tattoo.com.ph or the Globe store nearest you.

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