Being a parent of a teenager is challenging, and being a parent of a teen who may be bullied or stalked can be even more daunting.
Too often, teens fall victim to bullying and cyberstalking by simply being naive about the intent of the other person.
Cyberstalking is defined as a form of harassment that originates online through any number of means, whether social media, chat rooms, or any online activity.
Before discussing cyberstalking, it’s essential to understand the perpetrators of these activities and their victims.
What is Teen Stalking?
Teen stalking is when someone repeatedly follows, harasses, or threatens another person and may take many forms, including physical stalking, cyberstalking, and emotional abuse.
Stalkers may use social media to track their victims’ activities and whereabouts or to send threatening messages. They may also follow their victims in person or make unwanted phone calls or visits. In some cases, stalkers may even resort to physical violence.
Stalking can have severe consequences for victims, including fear, anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. Therefore, parents need to be aware of the signs of stalking and talk to their teens about how to protect themselves from it.
What Is Cyberstalking?
As more people spend a significant amount of time online, there’s an increased risk of exposing personal information by accident or malicious activities such as hacked information.
One area where malicious activities have dramatically increased is stealing personal data, cyber stalking, and bullying.
Whether you’re using email, third-party payment apps, or social media, chances are that people are hiding behind walls of anonymity, looking to do you some harm. Every few weeks, there are reports about personal data leaks and hackers stealing private information from stolen passwords, phishing, or other methods.
But cyberstalking and bullying have grown more than in any other area.
Often, it’s not adults that are stalking teenagers but teen-on-teen stalking. And since teenagers are more tech-savvy than adults, social media use for bullying and stalking has drastically risen in recent years.
Cyberstalking is a growing issue that affects teens, especially those who have been in abusive relationships.
Parents need to be aware of the dangers of cyberstalking and how to keep their teens safe online.
Cyberstalkers often use social media and the internet to meet and groom victims, so parents need to talk to their teens about the risks associated with online communication.
You should teach your teens the importance of privacy settings on social media platforms. Also, they need to learn to recognize signs of cyberstalking, such as receiving unwanted messages or emails, being followed online, or having personal information shared without permission.
You must also explain to your teenagers the dangers of sharing personal information online, including photos or contact information.
Finally, if your teen is being cyberstalked, they must tell you immediately so that you can protect them and report the stalker.
Teen cyberbullying and harassment are growing problems among teenagers today. Unfortunately, social media has made it easier for teens to bully and harass each other.
Cyberbullying can take on various forms, from threatening or hurtful messages to threatening to post embarrassing photos or videos and spreading rumors.
Another form of cyberbullying is excluding a teen from an online group, which can be especially damaging for teens.
The effects of cyberbullying on teens can be devastating.
Victims may experience depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and suicidal thoughts. As such, parents, schools, coaches, and community leaders should be aware of any potential cyberbullying and the ramifications of such actions.
By taking steps to prevent cyberbullying now, we can help ensure that our teens have safe and positive experiences online in the future.
Stalking in many states is a crime, and online stalking may include several federal crimes.
How Can Parents Protect Their Teens From Cyberstalking?
As the rise of stalking and cyberstalking, particularly, are increasing, teenagers’ challenges are growing.
Fortunately, there are steps parents and teens can take to reduce the risk of cyberstalking.
First and foremost, parents need to establish an environment where the teen feels safe to have an honest dialogue as required.
Parents can protect their teens from cyberstalking by teaching them about the risks associated with online communication and encouraging them not to share any personal information online.
Additionally, parents should encourage their teens to use strong privacy settings on social media platforms and be aware of the signs of cyberstalking, such as receiving unwanted messages or emails or being followed online.
Finally, if your teen is being cyber stalked, it’s essential to report it to the police and get help from a qualified professional.