54% of SA parents knew a child who'd been cyberbullied - CSIR

The CSIR said that many people still did not see the harm associated with cyberbullying.

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CAPE TOWN - The Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) said that 54% of South African parents knew a child who'd been cyberbullied.

Researchers from the CSIR's Information and Cybersecurity Centre analysed 2018 data as part of a virtual discussion on cyberbullying on Thursday.

They cited physical appearance, learners' academic performance, race and sexuality as some of the main reasons why people were being cyberbullied.

The CSIR said that many people still did not see the harm associated with cyberbullying.

Senior researcher, Sipho Ngobeni, said that some parents lacked the knowledge or time to keep track of their children’s online behaviour.

"Everyone needs to be involved in order to solve this problem. So, we're talking about the youth, the parents, educators, counsellors, law enforcement, social media companies where all this ends up

Fellow researcher, Rofhiwa Netshiya, advised parents on how to manage a situation where their child was being cyberbullied.

"If this is happening on school premises, sometimes educators are not aware that a child is being cyberbullied. if you know the parents of the perpetrator, you can also share the information with them so that they are aware of this behaviour."

Netshiya stressed that children should also not share their passwords and personal information like addresses and cellphone numbers.

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