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Are Cyber-Bullies Harassing Your Kids? [AUDIO]

You might not have any idea, but your kids may be getting harassed by cyber-bullies right now.

Flickr User Acloudman

According to a new Microsoft Global Youth Online Behavior Survey, 54 percent of kids said they are worried about being bullied or harassed online, and four in ten kids surveyed have experienced some sort of behavior that could be considered online bullying.

Meanwhile, 24 percent of kids admit to bullying someone online.

The Survey also found only 29 percent of kids say their parents have talked to them about the subject, and it found that there is not one common step taken by parents to address the problem and only five percent of parents engage with their child’s school about online bullying.

Jacqueline Beauchere, Director of Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft Corporation says back in the day, bullying was “confined to the school, it was confined to the playground, but now with the online world, we have a new platform if you will, to extend that bullying into the home – frankly it opens the door to 24 hour meanness – or 24 hour hurt – and it could range from teasing to being called names…and sometimes beyond to online cruelty.”

She says even if parents aren’t tech savvy, and don’t know much about online activity, they can help their kids with this problem, because “Parents have something to offer- they have lived, they have been around the block, they can identify risk- they need to bring some of that wisdom to bear…Parents have roles, the kids themselves have a role, educators and school counselors and coaches have a roll, and the technology industry has a roll- doing these types of surveys- trying to raise awareness, trying to share important, informative material is important…Everyone can get involved, and everyone can take a stand on this issue.”

Beauchere adds, “We have a website at Microsoft, where we have a whole host of materials and resources available – that website is microsoft.com\security - and there you’ll find tip cards and fact sheets and brochures and papers, videos, everything you could think of…We’re trying to teach kids and adults to be good digital citizens.”

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