Teaching Parents The How-To's Of Daily Online Security & Safety

“Your child may not know “cyber-bullying” by name but he or she knows what it looks and feels like,” says Marian Merritt, Norton’s Internet Safety Advocate. See below the interview I did with Marian’s 5 years ago it is fantastic!! Marian talked about her recently authored Symantec’s “Family Online Safety Guide,” and how it was Keeping Our Kids Safe… on the Internet!

Here are some of Marian’s top tips on what to do if you, your child, or someone you know is being cyber-bullied:

1. Keep records

Make your child or friend aware that cyber-bullying is incredibly common. Make sure they know how to react when it does occur.

They should not respond to any email or message that contains the cyber-bullying. They should try to save or print it so they can show someone and they should block it if they know how. Most importantly, they should always tell a parent.

2. Make sure your children communicate with you

Make sure your children know they must guard even the most casual text message and watch their own written words. They should always tell you if and when they are being cyber-bullied.

3. Make yourself available to talk

Experiencing something bad is almost inevitable when active on the Internet. Make sure your child knows they can come to you for help and that you won’t overreact.

4. Don’t respond to bullies

If you or your child is being cyber-bullied: don’t respond to the person posting messages. A response gives the bully or bullies the reaction they seek. Silence will confuse them. If your child gets asked “did you see that post or message?” teach them to say they didn’t, or even say, “My mum was working on my computer last night. Maybe she saw it”.

5. Ensure your child doesn’t become a bully

Wherever we have an online bully and a target, we have silent observers who witness the harassment and give it more power by providing an audience.

Make sure your child never engages in cyber-bullying even if all they are asked to do is visit a site, open an email, pass along a cruel message, or add their comments to a social networking page. Give your child the training to respond to a victim with kindness, support, and friendship. Read more.

Marian Merritt Spokesperson for Symantec!

Marian Merritt Spokesperson for Symantec

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Marian is the official spokesperson for Symantec’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness of Internet safety. Marian recently authored Symantec’s “Family Online Safety Guide,” a practical guide for parents and educators that focuses on age-specific solutions for protecting children online. Check out what she was doing just before our interview: Marian Merritt Internet Safety Advocate Symantec Corporation

Marian Merritt… One of my most favorite guests of all time!!

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