Introduction Online technologies are becoming a favourite way for young people to communicate but they need to be aware of the potential risks. Safer Internet Day takes place each year in February. The main objective of the Safer Internet Day is to raise awareness about safe and responsible use of new technologies among children and young people. Theme is social networking and cyberbullying. In Mauritius, the following Internet Safety activities are organised by the NCB,IT Security Unit of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Human Resources : 1: Awareness sessions for secondary schools. 2: Awareness sessions in rural areas through the Cyber caravans. 3: Brochures and Fact sheets on Internet Safety for Children. 4: Internet Safer Day website. (http://www.gov.mu/portal/sites/isf/index.html)
Internet Addiction spend excessive amounts of time online at the expense of and to the detriment of other aspects of their lives. Researchers in Taiwan have argued that more than 20 hours per week constitutes Internet addiction. Might include the following:- 1: Relationships: spending excessive amounts of time starting and maintaining online friendships in chat rooms, which replace real-life friends and family. 2: Money: compulsively gambling online & trading online. 3: Information searching: compulsive web surfing. 4: Gaming: obsessive computer game playing, including multi-user games. 5: Sex: addiction to adult chat rooms, cyber sex or pornography on the Internet.
Impacts on Children Less investment in relationships with friends and interruption of social relationships Feeling depressed and irritable when not at the PCs. Suffering withdrawal symptoms when without access or when reducing Internet use – these symptoms include anxiety, restlessness, depression, even trembling hands Lack of sleep and excess fatigue Declining school results Withdrawal from school social activities and events
Internet Addicted Girl
Social Networking Sites Examples are Face book and MySpace.com Research in US shows that out of all teenagers with an online profile: - 82% include their first name 29% include their last name 79% post photos of themselves 49% include the name of their schools. Children should be aware that placing pictures on the web leads to:- 1: Contact: 2: Bullying: 3: Distorting images
Social Networking Sites (Cont)
Cyberbullying the ‘sending or posting of harmful or cruel text or images using the internet or other digital communication devices’. Child Net International The Anti-Bullying Association - seven types of cyberbullying, 1. Text messages – unwelcome texts that are threatening. 2. Picture/video-clips via mobile phone cameras – 3. Mobile phone calls – silent calls or abusive messages; or stealing the victim’s phone and using it to harass others 4. s – threatening or bullying s, 5. Chatroom bullying – 6. Instant messaging – unpleasant messages sent as children conduct real-time conversations online. 7. Bullying via websites – use of defamatory blogs (web logs),
How technology used to bully others TechnologyGreat ForExamples of misuse Mobile PhonesKeeping in touch by voice or text, taking and sending pictures and film. Useful in emergency situations & for allowing children a sense of independence. Sending nasty calls or messages, including threats, intimidation and harassment. Taking and sharing humiliating images. Filming others being harassed and sending them to other phones. Sending electronic letters, pictures, and other files quickly and cheaply anywhere in the world. Sending nasty or threatening messages. Forwarding unsuitable content including images and video clips, or sending computer viruses. Instant Messenger Text or voice chatting live with friends online. An effective way of keeping in touch even while doing other things on the PC. Sending nasty messages or content. Using someone else’s account to forward rude or mean messages via their contacts list.
How technology used to bully others (Cont) TechnologyGreat ForExamples of misuse Chat Rooms and Message Boards Groups of people around the world can text or voice chat live about common interest. For the young, this is an easy way to meet new people and explore issues which they are too shy to talk about in person. Sending nasty or threatening anonymous messages. Making friends under false pretenses – people pretending to be someone they’re not in order to get personal information that they can misuse in a range of ways – e.g. by spreading secrets or blackmailing. Social Networking Sites Socializing with friends and making new ones. Allowing the young to be creative online. Personalizing profile and homepages, creating and uploading content. Posting nasty comments and humiliating images. Accessing another person’s account details, deleting information or making private information public. Creating fake profiles to pretend to be someone else and get the person into trouble.
Examples of Cyberbullying Bullying: My close friend (13) was chatting on the Internet one night and met this guy who she thought was fabulous. He claimed he was 16. My friend gave him her address. He started asking her really gross questions so she decided not to talk to him again. But because she gave him her address he started sending her rude and gross messages and pictures. She could not get rid of him. Her parents found out and disconnected the internet. Mobile Bullying: Met a boy at the park... He fancied me... I wasn’t sure so gave my friend’s mobile number instead... She keeps getting calls from him... She doesn’t want to make me look stupid, but is annoyed she has to lie. Instant Messenger: I am a 12 year old boy and I have been using IM to chat with my school friends. My close friend gave out my chat name and location to one of her contacts that she met online but does not know personally. This person started to contact me regularly, trying to set up a "date" with me. My friend then gave this person my real name and threatened to give out my telephone number and . This was really frightening, and I just stopped using IM altogether. I am so angry that I want to give out my friend’s information too. Do you think this person will try and find me? Source:
Examples of Cyberbullying (Cont) Chat Bullying: In February 2000, a thirty-three-year-old man made contact with a twelve-year-old girl in a teenage Internet chatroom. This first contact in a chatroom led to s every day over a two-month period and then to regular conversations on a mobile phone. In this way the girl was groomed from this initial chatroom contact to the point where she actually met the man offline and to the point where she was sexually assaulted. Online Gaming: A 13-year old boy in the USA made online friends with an older man via an online gaming website. In July 2004 after playing and chatting for several months, the boy and his new friend arranged to meet. The boy thought he and his new friend were to spend 4 days playing role-play games. The boy’s mother put him on the plane to fly to meet this friend in another state. She didn’t know that the new friend was a convicted sex- offender. The first day of the visit the boy was invited to the Zoo and experienced an unusual amount of 'hugging' and 'back rubbing'. And then, luckily, the visit ended: some relatives to the sex-offender had alarmed the authorities and the boy was rescued by the police.
Why do Youngsters Cyberbully? They have family problems. They are being bullied themselves. They are selfish or spoilt and want to get on their own way. They have no friends and being lonely. They feel bad themselves and want others to feel the same. They are taking out their frustrations on others. They feel insecure and unimportant – bullying gives them power. They want to look big in front of others. They don’t understand how bad victims feel. They have been bullied into joining a bully gang and thus have gone along with things just to keep on the bully’s good sides.
How does bullying make a child feel? "She has taken all my friends away and I go home at night and I'm depressed and cry" - girl aged 13 "One time I wouldn't eat because of people calling me 'fat' - boy aged 14 "Mondays were worst because I had to face the bully again and I soon got so worried it made me ill" - teenage girl "I feel lonely and I want some advice about how to feel better about myself, going to school" - girl aged 15 "I feel like killing myself, it's that bad. I will probably end up in hospital, I have no friends and if I don't get help now I will end up a mess." - girl aged 14
How does bullying make a child feel? (Cont) "Other kids trip me up and call me names. It got so bad once that I ran away from school" - boy aged 12 "They stir things up so people don't want to be my friend. I'm depressed, annoyed, stressed and keep breaking down in tears. I feel like I'm about to fall apart" - boy aged 13 "I pray to make the bullies better people but it really upsets me because none of my friends stick up for me. They just sit there and laugh - teenage girl (http://www.bullying.co.uk/parents/is_my_child_a_bully/howdoesitfeel.aspx)
Prevention ● Educate students about cyberbullying and assist them. ● Tell them not to erase any bullying messages they receive; do a record instead. ● Tell them not to reply to any bullying messages they receive. ● Encourage them to tell someone about this. ● Tell them to look into how they can block these messages. ● Tell them to never give out private information when online. ● Tell them to not open from strangers or bullies, just delete them. ● Tell them to not put anything online without consent of their parents. ● Never send messages when you're angry. ● Do not join in and bully other kids online. If you see it, show the bullying to an adult. ● Use filtering and tracking software on all computers and identify staff with permission to override the filters. ● Closely monitor students’ use of computers at school.