To celebrate Safer Internet Day 2022, The Diana Award’s National Anti-Bullying Youth Board have shared their top tips on how to engage in positive online experiences.
“The internet can be a brilliant resource if you use it well! Make the most of parental permissions and be aware of age restrictions on different platforms.”
Theo, Youth Board Member
“Many parents/carers feel that coming off social media is the best option to tackle cyberbullying behaviour but there are lots of great tools that social media platforms offer which parents/carers can use to support their child/ward. For example, you can block harmful words and use these filter blockers to help children have a more positive experience online.”
Lydia, Youth Board Member 2021-22
“I wish that more parents/carers were aware that getting rid of a phone or device doesn’t always solve the problem. If you’re concerned about how much time your child/ward spends online, talk about it with them in a calm manner and try your best to understand their views. It’s important to monitor what they’re doing without being overbearing – there are many indirect ways you can help keep your young person safe such as the settings on your ISP which can block certain websites and installing safety software like McAfee and Norton to help protect your device from online dangers.”
Rose, Youth Board Member 2020-22
“It’s important for social media platforms to ensure they have appropriate age restrictions in place. For example, a 7-year-old shouldn’t be able to have access to social media apps made for adults. More can be done to remove underage users from social media platforms.”
“Social media platforms can stop harmful accounts and block inappropriate language but more resource should be added towards removing this harmful content.”
“Social media platforms allow you to set profiles to private and report other accounts/posts. However, I would like social media companies to improve their safety settings further. For example, by setting profiles automatically/on default to private and then asking the user to choose if they want to make it public.”
“Block and report the user. I’d also tell them not to be afraid to talk to other people about what’s happening – there is support that you can get and you’re not in it alone!”
“Don’t give up, you’re amazing! You’re better than the words that are being said! Keep being you.”
“Talk about the issue with someone you trust and use support services like The Diana Award Advice Messenger if you feel like you don’t have someone you can speak to”
“Screenshot, Block and Report! It’s imperative that you have evidence of nasty online interactions, particularly through instant messaging as on some services like Snapchat these messages can be deleted. Share it and tell a trusted adult – sometimes when these situations spiral out of control, you might need extra help from the platform, your school or even the police. If you feel you can, report the account or post yourself to the website. Finally, remember that it’s never your fault. It’s easy to blame yourself for experiencing bullying behaviour but remember that you don’t need to change anything about yourself just because of someone else’s opinion.”
“We delivered assemblies and posted notices online of the different social media platforms so that parents/carers and students understand how to keep their information and themselves safe.”
“We held informal talks for parents/carers on where we shared how we engage with the online world and explained different social media platforms to them. Once they heard us talking about how to stay safe online, they were much more assured and understood more about why their child/ward may enjoy engaging in online spaces.”
Let us know what your Anti-Bullying Ambassador team is doing for Safer Internet Day 2022 and remember that delivering online safety workshops and assemblies are great actions towards your Online Safety Badge.
For more top tips and advice on staying safe online, check out our Resource Centre.
For support, visit our Support Centre.