Almost nine in 10 parents say their children have been affected by cyber bullies, a new study by Bitdefender suggests. Some 54pc have been affected to the point of anger, violence, sadness or apathy.
Cyber bullying, defined as threatening, harassing, humiliating, embarrassing or otherwise tormenting others online, has prompted 19pc of the parents interviewed to seek specialised help for their children, according to the survey results.
“The results of this study should send out a very strong message to parents – it’s more vital than ever to take steps towards protecting children from cyber bullying,” said Sabina Datcu, Bitdefender e-threats analysis and communication specialist, and author of the study.
“Parents need to understand the necessity of installing parental control software and of monitoring their teenagers’ activity on social networks and on the internet, in general.”
Bitdefender Internet Security 2012 includes parental control features to help monitor children’s activity on the internet.
However, parents’ direct involvement in their children’s education on the risks and advantages of internet usage remains a key element in combating cyber bullying, the company says.