Privacy

I cannot state this enough. I start each year by teaching some very basic skills that surprisingly, most students (and even some adults) have not considered.

For example, when uploading images or a profile image onto social media, use a cartoon avatar or an image of yourself far away.

Do not upload a picture wearing a visible school or sporting team’s emblem. Do not use your real name; particularly your surname.

Some social media accounts also show other users your location, including popular platforms. Turn these off!

Prevention

Encourage parents and students to not use programs and platforms if they are not old enough.

There are age recommendations, so point these out. Set secure passwords with a mixture of capitals, lower case letters, punctuation and numbers and do not share this with anyone.

Who can view your images and information? Check privacy settings within accounts.

Most online programs and social media accounts also have settings that send you a request to approve an image of you that somebody wants to post or share. I would highly recommend that you activate this.

Taking Action

The most simple yet effective form of action is the screen shot. If someone is experiencing cyber bullying or inappropriate behaviour, take either a screen shot or screen grab, or use a ‘snipping tool’ to take a picture.

Make sure the whole screen is captured and include as much information as possible, including the website or platform you are using and the details of the sender.

Most screen shot capabilities will include a time and date stamp, which is very important if you need to show this to someone.

In the case of online harassment or bullying, do not write back or engage in online banter with a bully. De-friend a bully. Cancel your account. Report inappropriate content.

Reporting

 It is important that students know they can report inappropriate behaviour, either by showing a trusted adult, using a reporting function or if need be, speaking to their school or the police.

Head to edhq.co/2IAAfFK to find a useful document that outlines the procedure for reporting bullying.