Security solutions provider Bitdefender joins the ranks of companies that have performed a thorough analysis on cyberbullying following the Amanda Todd incident.
The results of the study reveal some interesting facts about the phenomenon’s impact on youths, but also the factors that influence children to become cyberbullies.
According to experts, in most cases, the factor that leads kids to cyberbullying is represented by their parents’ aggressive behavior and language.
Apparently, there’s a direct link between the behavior manifested by parents at home and the unwanted online habits of their children.
As far as the victims of cyberbullying are concerned, the figures show that 82% of the interviewed parents claim that their children have been exposed to various forms of cyberbullying.
Worryingly, one third of respondents have been told by their kids that they’ve shared sensitive information with others online, including passwords. Furthermore, a large majority of parents have admitted that they only know some of their children’s online friends.
The main threats youths are exposed to are the spreading rumors (93% of cases), being mocked (83%), being insulted (75%), being threatened (63%) and the sharing of photographs without their permission (58%), an issue highlighted
last week by the Internet Watch Foundation.
“Cyber-bullying remains a vivid threat harming children through multiple environments such as e-mail, cell phone, social media, instant messaging, web sites, or blogs,” said Bitdefender researcher dr. Sabina Datcu.
“Whether they are victims or harassers, young people are very affected by cyber-bullying, and some need specialized help to get over its psychological consequences.”
The research is based on two different surveys conducted between July and September, in which users from the United States, Romania, Germany, UK, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Netherlands, Austria, and France participated.
One of the surveys focused on the observation of 500 parents via non-invasive methods in their home environment and the other one targeted 1,800 randomly selected parents of youths aged between 7 and 18.