New figures have revealed that children as young as nine are being exposed to the risk of cyber bullies
New research has revealed that more than one in 10 school children have experienced cyber bullying.
The statistics released by the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre at Dublin City University show that children as young as nine are being exposed to the risk of cyber bullies.
The figures have been highlighted ahead of Safer Internet Day - which will take place around the world tomorrow the 7th February - and will form part of an in-depth review to be published later this year.
The full report will comprise an analysis of all studies on cyberbullying in Ireland from 1997 to the present time.
According to the figures released today, 14% of primary school children and 10% of post-primary school children have been cyberbullied.
The centre has also produced a short video in which school children tell parents how to help them stay safe from cyberbullying.
Centre director Dr James O’Higgins Norman said kids are going online much earlier and more often in recent years – a trend that brings new risks for parents:
“Children now as young as two and three years of age are being handed iPads in their family home and in restaurants and in the backs of the cars to keep them entrained,” he said.
“With increased use of the internet and social media there is bound to be more exposure to the possibility of some kind of negative experience online such as cyber bullying.”
Dr O’Higgins Norman said parents should familiarise themselves with the latest apps and platforms their children are accessing in order to intervene and prevent cyber bullying - whether their child is being bullied or is the bully.
“The whole idea of a digital divide is gone now; we know parents use the internet as much as their children do,” he said. “But they use different spaces online.”
“We would be advising parents to find out what spaces their children are using - and of course that changes on a month to month basis with all the new apps that come out every week.”
“They need to be on top of that; understanding where their kids are going online and what are the particular dangers with particular apps.