Bright speaks to a safer Internet

Tuesday, Feb. 7 is International Safer Internet Day.

International Safer Internet Day promotes the positive use of the Internet among children and youth.

Dr. Robin Bright, a University of Lethbridge Faculty of Education researcher has been looking at the effects of bullying, and now, cyberbullying for a number of years.

Bright can be available to discuss how parents can be more aware of their children's internet use.

In addition to a general overview of the challenges faced by those being cyber-bullied, the relevant facts Dr. Bright is able to discuss are as follows:

• 84 per cent of parents believe that their children will confide in them if they are being cyberbullied, but only 8 per cent of kids actually speak to an adult about the issue

• Kids are reluctant to report online problems to parents for fear of losing their Internet and cell phone privileges, despite the fact that only 2 per cent of parents react this way. This speaks to the misconceptions between kids and parents

• There is a critical need for parents to talk with their kids and help them make safe and responsible decisions online. Apparently, kids say they want adult involvement

• Educators are acting to deal with cyberbullying, but the reality is that many students will never turn to adults in authority to help them with online dangers

• In these cases, it would be more helpful if educators work to develop in students self-confidence and critical maturity to be able to apply critical judgments

• Kids under the age of 10 do not have sufficient critical thinking skills to surf the Net alone so supervision is still Important

• One study showed that 25 per cent of kids in grades 4-6 were completely unsupervised online.

• Parents can acquaint themselves with Internet places and tools kids use -- like using instant messaging, trying out a webcam, playing a game online, downloading music and creating a social networking site.

• Great sites for parents to know about and check out:;