In a recent study conducted by Ipsos Global, results showed that about 80% of South Africans are aware of cyberbullying and almost 3-quarters of South Africans believe that the anti-bullying tactics that are in place are not enough to combat cyberbullying.

The sad truth is that no matter how hard parents try to control their children’s devices, there are always loopholes that make it almost impossible for them to do so. We believe that parents need to educate themselves and their children continuously to help protect against cyberbullying.

Listed below are the ‘5 faces of cyberbullying’. These are the most common forms of cyberbullying acts we identify in South African schools during our training workshops.

Being able to identify cyberbullying is the first step parents need to take to help educate themselves and their children:

  • The use of false images, videos and messages to hurt or threaten someone else. Sometimes the images used have been photoshopped so much that parents and educators struggle to realize that they are fake.
  • The sharing of personal or private information with the intent to humiliate the victim or cause harm to them. This kind of behavior may start off as a joke between friends then it may also snowball to ex-friends picking up on the ‘’joke’’ and intentionally hurting the victim. Also, hacking into someone’s phone and ultimately their social media accounts to post false information and start rumours. 
  • Creating fake social media accounts and pretending to be someone they are not with the intention of revealing a victim’s personal information or rumours.
  • Reposting unconsented photography or videos of the victims is also a form of cyberbullying. Typical forms of this include videos of children in the school yard being beaten up, or videos of a teacher / student fight that goes viral online.
  • Sexting or sextortion by sharing nude photos in group chats or on social networks.

Cyberbullying is a very serious issue and it affects many young lives throughout South Africa. If NGOs, Parents and Educators work as a collective, the possibility of putting an end to cyberbullying is still alive. Contact us here if your school would like free Online Safety Training in Cape Town, South Africa.

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