Smart surfing: a student’s guide to online etiquette

Some tips for parents and students on using the Internet

  • Sep. 4, 2013 5:00 p.m.

Fact: The Internet is here to stay.Fact: So is cyberbullying.

Ironically (and most helpfully), the Internet is a great source on how to deal with cyberbullying.

StopABully.ca offers up the following statistics on cyberbullying:

  • Ninety per cent of parents are familiar with cyberbullying.
  • Seventy-three per cent of parents are concerned about it.
  • Two in five parents report their child has been involved in a cyberbullying incident.
  • Seventy-three per cent of educators are familiar with the issue.
  • Seventy-six per cent of educators believe cyberbullying is a problem at their school.
  • Educators consider cyberbullying (76 per cent) as big an issue as smoking (75 per cent) and drugs (75 per cent).
  • Thirty-eight per cent of girls online report being bullied, compared with 26 per cent of online boys.
  • Nearly four in 10 social network users (39 per cent) have been cyberbullied, compared with 22 per cent of online teens who do not use social networks.

The website also states the most common form of cyberbullying was the public circulation of personal information received from a private email, IM, or text message.

When it comes to dealing with online harassment, common sense must prevail.

In a recent Globe and Mail article by David Butt (“Teens must learn the line between online socializing and pornography), Butt keeps it simple: “First, assume there are people out there who wish to cause you harm, and don’t post anything about yourself that those people could use to hurt you; and, don’t post anything about others that you would not want posted about yourself.”

HelpGuide.org offers some other common-sense tips for both teens and parents.

Tips for teens

  • Communicate electronically only with people that you actually know in person.
  • Never post or share personal information, including your address, phone number, parent’s names, credit card numbers, or ID numbers (student ID, driver’s licence, social insurance, health card).
  • Never share passwords with anyone other than your parents.
  • Don’t emote and post; wait until the emotional storm subsides … and it will.
  • Don’t post promiscuous photos of yourself or anyone else. Nothing on the Internet is private.

If you are being cyberbullied:

  • Seek support from an adult, be it a parent, a principal or a teacher.
  • Save the evidence by taking screen shots.
  • Don’t engage with the bully. Ignore instead of responding.
  • Report any threats of harm to the police.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. It’s not your fault.
  • Log off and unplug, and try to get involved in other activities.

Tips for parents

  • Keep the computer in a common area.
  • Set up filters on your home computer system, like Net Nanny, AVG Family Safety or Time Boss.
  • Know your children’s passwords.
  • Don’t respond to cyber-bullying, but do report them to the police, the ISP, the cell company, and whoever else is appropriate.
  • Track the cyber-bullying.
  • Enlist the help of school administrators.

Encourage your children to tell them if they are being harassed, and deal with the issue together. They may not want to tell you for fear of losing their Internet privileges.

Carol Todd, mother to Amanda Todd (the 15-year-old who committed suicide as a final response to cyberbullying), did much of the above. She offers the following advice, which reappears often in her many interviews: In an exclusive with Yahoo!, she said, “ensure that your child has three to four adults that they can trust or talk to. Whether its a teacher, an aunt, a pastor at a church … someone that your child can go easily to and talk to.”

Tips for bystanders

Author Barbara Coloroso, identifies the three parties involved in bullying:  as suggested by the title of one of her books, the three players are The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander. When it comes to stopping bullying, whether online or in person, behaviour modification will not come willingly or effectively from the first two parties; it is the intervention of the third, the bystander, that can make the critical difference.

All too many times, supporters come out of the woodwork when it is too late. Amanda Todd was overwhelming supported by her peers — after she died. Yet, as evidenced in her video, in her cue card that read “I have nobody, I need someone,” she felt horribly alone while alive.

If you really want to stand out in a crowd and shine your uniqueness onto the world, step up when no one else will, speak out, and stop the bullying.

Compiled by

Britt Santowski

Just Posted

Shoebox Project reaches out to women in crisis

Boxes are distributed to transition homes

Colwood mayor pitches ferry as commuter alternative

Mayor Rob Martin says different modes of transportation need to be considered

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Bouquet sales support big dreams in Greater Victoria

Country Grocer features holiday bouquets for Help Fill a Dream

Emerald Gloves boxing brings fights to Langford

Langford’s Matt Daniels dropped weight for debut

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

Port Alberni convenience store robbed

Police still searching for suspect

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Police probe several allegations of sex assault at Toronto school

Police say they have learned of other incidents of alleged assault and sexual assault

Most Read