Canadian parents remain least concerned in the world about Cyberbullying

·2 min read

A new study has found that as many as six in 10 Canadian children as young as ten years old experience cyberbullying.

In Canada, cyberbullying focuses on highly personal topics, with the top three reported forms including online bullying focusing on appearance (34%), clothing (22%), and friends (19%).

The findings were reported in McAfee’s ‘Cyberbullying in Plain Sight’ report.

A statement by the organization said cyberbullying in Canada was deeply personal – and was usually perpetrated by someone known to the victim.

It said that 55% of children in Canada report that they have been cyberbullied by someone they know.

Despite the prevalence of online bullying in Canada, Canadian parents express some of the lowest levels of concern about cyberbullying in the world – and they are even less concerned about cyberbullying now than last year.

Worldwide, children and parents expressed more concern about cyberbullying this year compared to last, whereas Canadians expressed far less concern—among the lowest levels of concern in the world.

However, 44% of Canadian children said they feel worried today compared to 59% of children worldwide—a 15% gap.

Similarly, 59% of Canadian parents felt more worried this year than last while 72% of parents worldwide said they felt the same – a 13% gap.

Mila, a parent in Milton said while she was concerned about her children being potential targets of cyberbullying, she still had no reasons to be on her heels as she felt her children were not being targets of cyberbullying.

“I know the threats it poses, but my children say they have not been bullied online. So I don’t stay constantly on alert, but I will definitely do something if they say they have been affected”, she said.

Experts, however, suggest that children may not even be able to synthesize whether they are being bullied, and the responsibility lies with parents to be proactive in educating their children and asking from time to time whether they have noticed any untoward behavior towards them online.

Laura Steiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Milton Reporter, Milton Reporter