Cyberbully victims keeping quiet

Karen O'Sullivan, 7News Melbourne
<p>Cyberbully victims keeping quiet</p>

Cyberbully victims keeping quiet

Victims of cyberbullying are refusing to tell their parents because they fear their tablets and smartphones will be confiscated.

A new study has found bullied young people are instead suffering in silence.

The Bully Zero Australia Foundation is spreading the message that social media can be deadly.

And it is feared one in every five Australians is bullied online.

Bully Zero Australia Foundation CEO Oscar Yildiz said: “In the wrong hands we say these things are weapons of mass destruction.”

Two teenagers we spoke to offered good advice; ‘if someone is bothering me I’ll just report it and block it as well’ and ‘just delete it, block the person, ignore it’.

But many victims are refusing to tell their parents about cyberbullying, fearing their computers and phones will be taken away.

“We're finding that kids need to be connected 24 /7, to the extent that they're sleeping with their mobile phones, their ipads,” added Oscar.

A study of 120 families discovered a large gap exists between how parents and their children view the internet and how it works.

The study also found that no matter how tech savvy parents were, many still didn't know how to monitor their children's online behaviour.

The bully zero foundation suggests parents, review their child's internet history, don't allow secret passwords, install filtering software and be friends on facebook and follow their child on twitter.

It also says the most effective way to reduce the chances of cyberbullying is to discuss internet use with your children.

As one mum told 7News: “Communication is the key. If you've got good communications with your children you should be ok.”

The Bully Zero Foundation will hold a 48-hour digital detox next month. More details HERE.