Social media has become the common flagship for teenage cowards - a means to hunt their victims with minimum effort – and usually the last to know about this secret world are the mums and dads of the emotionally battered and bruised.Brett Lee is an internet veteran - he knows how murky it can be. His specialty has been sought by the FBI and during his 22 years with Queensland Police, he even spent time as an undercover internet detective.
“Cyber bullying is bullying 24/7 -- there is no escape," Mr Lee said. “Cyber bullying is a 100 per cent psychological attack."More stories from Today Tonight
Social media may keep people in touch but there’s no escaping the bullies.“I think any parent that has a feeling inside, that they need to step in and do something, or need to put rules in place, they should trust those instincts because those instincts are there for a reason," Mr Lee said.
Now there's a system that can keep you in the loop of your children's cyber world. It's one based on trust, where the child allows the mum and dad to hover but not spy.“We thought last year we'd seen the pinnacle of cyber bullying and now it seems to be going up and up and up, getting worse,"said Jason Edwards, the founder of Protect-a-Child.
Protect-a-Child is a system that scans your child's social media accounts for key bullying words.While parents sleep it searches their kid's Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and bebo accounts, fishing out words and cryptic nick names for bullying worldwide.
Elizabeth has signed on to Protect-a-Child after her daughter became a victim of cyber bullies.“At its worse she stopped going to school, wagging school; her grades diminished and we ended up pulling her out of the school," Elizabeth said. “I guess I got it because I want to be aware of what's happening on those sites without invading their privacy and checking everything they're doing."
The system also give parents a bird’s eye view of who their kids are talking to online, whether it's using their friend's computer, their smart phone or at Wi-Fi hot spots.“It is community crowd protection, the cyber equivalent of neighbourhood watch. It allows mums and dads to know who are the cyber friends of their children and the parent can give their stamp of approval," Mr Edwards said.
- Protect-a-Child protectachild.com.au