New Statistics On Cyberbullying, Online Safety

Canadian web security firm Lavasoft released the results of its latest survey this week titled “2015 Cyberbullying and Online Safety Study” and the results are consistent with what we’ve seen in the U.S. and Canada over the last couple of years. Maybe we have reached the new normal. The research surveyed 200 students aged 10 – 18. The findings:

no-cyberbullyingIn person bullying is still more common than cyberbullying:

  • 3 in 5 students have been bullied or harassed in person
  • 1 in 4 teens have been victim of cyberbullying

The cyberbullying highlights:

  • Almost half know someone else who has been cyberbullied
  • Cyberbullies are 4x more likely to be a friend than a stranger
  • 73% of students claim they would tell an adult after witnessing cyberbullying
  • Fewer than 25% of teens surveyed actually reported incidents of cyberbullying to an adult

Our thoughts: Yes, in person bullying is still more prevalent, but there are reasons why cyberbullying can have a more profound impact. It can be viewed by a larger audience, it can happen 24×7 and the evidence – harsh words or pictures – can last forever.

It continues to be troubling that, even though awareness of cyberbullying is growing, most teens do not speak up to an adult when they see it happening – even when they are the victim.

The study also asked questions regarding what teens are doing to keep themselves safe online. The results are not that comforting:

  • 28 percent have shared their phone number online
  • 28 percent have shared their email address
  • 25 percent have shared their full name
  • 14 percent have shared their home address
  • 3 percent have shared passwords

According to the Lavasoft CEO commenting on the results:

“Many students are unaware of best practices for online security, with many engaging in activities that could result in their personal information being compromised, their devices being hacked and even make them more susceptible to bullies online. The best form of prevention in both cybercrime and cyberbullying is education, and many students seem to be unaware of the impact that their online behavior can have on their well-being.”

Parents can get ahead on that education by talking frequently about best practices and reviewing them hands on with all kids who are active online.

 

 

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