As new threats develop, we learn how to defend ourselves against them, and then we teach our children to do the same. This has been the same over generations, across continents and even throughout species for millions of years and failure to adapt and evolve to deal with new dangers leads to extinction.
We teach children how to cross the road, not to take sweets from strangers, and even how to react in the event of a fire – so why are we dragging our feet when it comes to protecting kids from the biggest new threat of the 21st century – the internet?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that lack of internet savvy will lead to the extinction of the human race – that would be a tad overdramatic even for me - but it’s a scientific fact that we are supposed to teach our young of the dangers of the world so that they can eventually fend for themselves. However, with more than half of young people (55.2%) saying that cyber-bullying is a part of everyday life it’s clear that this is an issue that is not being dealt with effectively.
According to an in-depth study by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, 49% of parents complained that the level of access their child has to the internet means they struggle to keep tabs on what they are getting up to online, 51% said this makes them fear for their child’s safety.
Despite these fears and obvious awareness of the problem, 40% of parents admitted they wouldn’t know what to do if their child was being cyber-bullied, or even how to set up filters to protect them.
This sets alarm bells ringing and gives me the impression that children aren’t being taught how to deal with cyber-bullies because the people responsible for educating them on such matters know so very little about it. How can parents and teachers show children how to cope with something that the kids actually know much more about than they do? And how can we defend them from a threat we know so little about?
Education is the answer – not just for children, but for the adults aiming to protect them. 69% of teachers and 40% of young people are eager for cyber-bulling to be included in the national curriculum, and 43% of teachers admitted that their school currently teaches nothing about online safety. We know the problem, we know the solution; it just needs to be put into action.
While in this case, knowledge is a huge part of the battle, other measures can also be taken in the fight against cyber-bullying. Fire Safety lessons are important so children know how to prevent and deal with a blaze if it happens – but this wouldn’t stop you installing fire alarms and extinguishers and the same applies to online safety.
Education is just the first step – sites still need good moderation in place to prevent and detect any possible risks. Moderation company Crisp Thinking is the smoke detector of the online world – preventing cyber-bullying and raising the alarm to any suspicious behaviour that may be cause for concern.
Unlike most moderation providers who merely detect certain words, Crisp’s community management and kids’ moderation solution analyses the context of what is said, making it more accurate and effective than any other service. Crisp works 24/7 to identify suspicious users, who can then be issued a warning, temporarily suspended from the site or permanently blocked depending on the severity of the situation. This gives users the chance to realise their mistake and correct their behaviour, whilst taking a zero-tolerance approach to negative behaviour.
Crisp gives parents the peace of mind that their child is safe online and dramatically reduces the chance of cyber-bullying ever being an issue they have to respond to. And with 44% of teachers admitting they don’t know how to respond to cyber-bullying, Crisp dramatically eases the pressure and enables them to focus on educating and enriching young minds.
Our top priority is the safety of young people online, and protecting them so they can reap the great benefits of having such an amazing resource at their fingertips. Our comprehensive and effective solutions keep bullies at bay with virtual world moderation, gaming and social media moderation - enabling us to offer safety, peace of mind and an enjoyable, safe, risk-free environment in which the children of this digital era can socialise and play.