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Over the coming weeks the St Patrick’s College Wellbeing Team will be running a series of newsletter articles from the eSaftey Commissioner. The purpose of these articles is to educate our parent community on how they can best assist their son in avoiding the pitfalls of social media. Please be mindful that these articles often use hyperlinks to support material.

The topics covered will be:

1. Cyberbullying – supporting your child online

2. Supporting your child’s safe online social networking

3. Protecting your child’s digital reputation

4. Advice to help manage children’s time online

5. Supporting your child’s safe mobile phone use

6. Managing unwanted online contact

7. Supporting your child’s safe use of online games and in-app purchases

8. Managing sexting

9. Being a helpful bystander against cyberbullying

10. Protecting your child against online identity theft

11. Trolling online – what it is and how to support your child

12. Avoiding online spam, scams and phishing

13. Safe use of location-based services

Cyberbullying – supporting your child online

Childhood bullying used to be face-to-face physical and verbal behaviour in the playground, classroom and on the way to and from school. Now online technology and constant connectivity has allowed bullying to harm children through often anonymous contact or actions. Cyberbullying can happen at any time and leave a child feeling unsafe and alone.

Cyberbullying commonly occurs through:

  • Comments posted in an open online environment such as Facebook.
  • Direct text, email or instant messages online or on a mobile phone.
  • Private features on social networking services such as Snapchat and Facebook Messenger. Children can manage cyberbullying with your support by taking the following action:
  • Blocking the person cyberbullying and changing privacy settings. Retaliating or responding to the perpetrator only gives them the attention and power they want.
  • Reporting the bullying. Most websites have online safety centres and reporting facilities. Online abuse is in violation of the Terms Of Use of most social networking sites. The Office of the eSafety Commission can take complaints and provide assistance in relation to serious cyberbullying material that is directed at a particular child with the intention to seriously embarrass, harass, threaten or humiliate.
  • Collecting the evidence. Keeping mobile phone messages and printing emails or IM conversations.
  • Talking to someone they trust like parents or a teacher.
  • Visiting iParent for a list of sources of professional support including the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, eheadspace on 1800 650 890 or parentline.
  • Taking the cyberbullying quiz. There is also a quiz for parents.
  • Watch the “Chatterbox” video and listen to the podcast about cyberbullying.

Mr Darren Kearney - Dean of Students