A Fourth of Parents Say Their Kids Have Encountered Cyberbullying

Filed under: In The News, Bullying

Credit: Getty Images

Teenagers call it "trolling."

They're not talking about catching fish from a moving boat. As prone to abusing the English language as they are each other, that's the new slang term for what adults call cyberbullying.

And there's a lot of trolling going on out there.

PC Magazine reports researchers for Symantec (a security software company) found that a fourth of parents say their children have been involved in cyberbullying -- either as a victim, bully or witness.

The online survey included 1,068 U.S. parents with children between the ages of 8 and 18 -- with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

According to the magazine, middle school students are the most likely to be victims of cyberbullying and girls were more likely to be involved than boys.

Of the 24 percent of respondents who said their child had been involved in cyberbullying, 68 percent said their child had been the victim, while 17 percent said their child was the bully, and 15 percent said their child witnessed an incident.

Only 40 percent of the parents of witnesses say they talked with their child about how to stop cyberbullying from happening.

Other results:

  • 30 percent of parents told their child to "not get involved" to avoid unnecessary "drama" or "retaliation."
  • 50 percent of single parents whose child witnessed a cyberbullying incident told their child to "stay out of it," compared to 17 percent of married parents.
  • Nearly half of all parents surveyed either didn't have online parenting software installed on their computer (43 percent) or didn't know if they did (6 percent).
  • When asked how knowledgeable parents feel about their child's online activity, 18 percent of parents admitted they "sort of" know what their child does online, while 10 percent of parents said, "I ask, but never feel like he or she is telling me everything."
  • 40 percent of parents admitted to checking their kids' browser history to see what they've been searching for.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.