A new survey from security firm Bitdefender has found that the vast majority of kids have suffered some form of online bullying.
The study, which was based on a sample of 1740 parents across five countries, showed that 89% of children had been victims of online harassment.
54% said that their offspring had been “very affected” by the bullying to the point of anger or sadness, or even violence.
19% of those questioned said they had sought specialised help for their kids.
For the purposes of the survey, Bitdefender defined cyber bullying as “threatening, harassing, humiliating, embarrassing or otherwise tormenting others online”.
The survey concentrated predominantly on parents with 11 to 15-year-olds (47% of those polled) and 15 to 18-year-olds (40%), with only 13% falling into the 7 to 10-year-old category.
Sabina Datcu, Bitdefender’s E-Threats Analysis and Communication Specialist, author of the study, commented: “The results of this study should send out a very strong message to parents – it’s more vital than ever to take steps towards protecting children from cyber bullying.”
“Parents need to understand the necessity of installing Parental Control software and of monitoring their teenagers’ activity on social networks and on the Internet in general.”
And naturally enough, Bitdefender produces internet security software which enables parental controls.
Nevertheless, the point is a good one, and parents should take careful notice of particularly what younger children are up to on the internet. It isn’t a safe place, not for them, and most likely not for your computer under their control, either.