Cyberbullying causes depression, nightmares and anorexia, study says

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About 20 percent of children have witnessed others being bullied online, and sadly 7 percent of children have even participated in it, study said

In the digital age, everything happens online—even bullying. If you think it’s not as big a deal as other people make it out to be, think again.

According to a study conducted by Kaspersky Lab and iconKids & Youth, the threat of cyberbullying breeds serious physical and psychological repercussions.

In fact, according to the study, 37 percent of the victims of cyberbullying reported lower self-esteem, 30 percent saw a deterioration in their performance at school, and 28 percent cited depression.

Not only that, 25 percent of parents stated that cyberbullying had disrupted their child’s sleep patterns and caused nightmares (21 percent). Another 26 percent of parents noticed that their child had started avoiding contact with other children, and 20 percent discovered their child had anorexia.

About 20 percent of children have witnessed others being bullied online, and sadly 7 percent of children have even participated in it.

Perhaps the saddest part about this is that children often hide incidents of cyberbullying, making it harder for parents to protect their children.

Hard, but not impossible.

“In an effort to protect our children from danger, we mustn’t forget that they not only live in the real world but also in the virtual world, which is just as real to them,” said Andrei Mochola, Head of Consumer Business at Kaspersky Lab.

He added: “Cyberbullying is one of the most dangerous things that can confront a child on the Internet, because it can have a negative impact on their psyche and cause problems for the rest of their lives.

“The best solution in this case is to talk to your child and to use parental control software that can alert you to any suspicious changes to their social network page.”

Find out what you can do to prevent your child from being bullied online.

As parents, there are certain things you can do to make sure your kids are being safe from cyberbullying, such as:

  • Learning more about what your children are doing online and who they’re talking to
  • Keeping data secure by limiting the amount of information (photos, status, apps) that their children are uploading
  • Recognizing the signs of bullying, including kids’ loss of interest in favorite activities, skipped classes, and changes in sleeping or eating habits
  • Holding bullies accountable: bullies need to understand that their actions have consequences, and everyone deserves to live without fear

About Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab is a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. Kaspersky Lab’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe.

The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialised security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com.

About iconKids & Youth

iconKids & Youth is one of Europe’s leading child & youth research agencies. Founded in 1996, its team of experienced researchers conducts about 150 studies each year and keeps up a constant and intensive dialogue with young people under 30 and related reference groups like parents.

Digital media and their effects on children and adolescents have always been a high priority in the work of iconKids & Youth. Learn more at http://www.iconkids.com.

Photo credit: Fox 9

READ: Cyber bullying and your kids

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Written by

James Martinez