(Bellevue, Washington) August 28, 2010
With the explosive growth of social networking sites, blogging sites, and video sharing resources online, the incidence and severity of online bullying have continued to rise. “Social networking sites are really scary weapons in the hands of bullies”, notes Oliver Thompson of IXDownload.Com, a leading reference and authority in online security and Internet “best practices”. Unlike the real world where there are geographic and time limits to the spread of embarrassing and reputation damaging information, the Internet doesn’t offer too many barriers to the spread of lies and leaked private information. “What’s worse, social networking sites, due to their ability to spread information virally, can be used to organize a “mob” of people to target a person,” added Thompson.
Many teens’ relationships and reputations have been damaged by unregulated, uncorroborated, and often anonymous information posted on blogs and social networks “The blogs provide the publishing platform, and the social networks deliver the massive traffic which, together, form a crippling ‘1 – 2 punch’ to any teen’s already fragile self-esteem and identity,” said Thompson. “The damage is very real and can last a lifetime.”
IXDownload has launched a resource page that helps parents work with their children to actively safeguard their children’s online identities and reputations. “The resource, located at http://www.ixdownload.com/forums/general-internet/863-parents-guide-protecting-their-children-online-bullies.html, offers practical, proactive, and easy to implement tips you should follow to protect your kids online” said Thompson. “These tips were researched, written, and tested around some key realities and problems the Internet poses—it has a long memory, it is not bound by geography, it is anonymous, it can organize ‘friends’ quickly, and it can spread information virally,” noted Thompson. The tips focus on teaching proper online browsing and posting habits to children with an eye toward future reputation damage. Additionally, parents are encouraged to consider identity management and sofware tools to help moderate children’s social network and blogging/online publishing exposure. “Though a prudent mix of ‘common sense’ browsing /online interaction practices, proactive identity management and protection, and restricted use levels provided by Internet filtering software,” parents can protect their children, to a degree, from the many dangers online bullies and ‘hater’ crowds pose,” said Thompson.
Unlike common teen physical accidents that may leave physical scars that heal over time, the damage caused by online bullies and haters might persist for life. Unlike physical wounds which can readily be seen and treated, mental and emotional wounds may fester for a long time and run deep. The damage may take years to resolve. It is definitely a huge concern for parents committed to safeguarding their children’s emotional and mental well-being.
ixDownload.Com is the Internet’s leading software information and resource site focusing on a wide range of security, productivity, and multimedia applications.