Is your child suddenly spending noticeably more or less time on social media, online gaming, or on their mobile phone?
Has your child asked you about closing down social media accounts, or about security features such as blocking other account holders or certain phone numbers?
Has your child reduced their usual social activities such as going out shopping and meeting friends? Changes in offline activities can be a sign of online problems.
Has there been an increase in headaches, stomach upsets or other ailments? Sometimes, online bullying and harassment can manifest themselves in genuine illnesses through a combination of stress, lack of sleep and inability to eat healthy foods. Sometimes illnesses can be faked to avoid certain situations such as school and other public places.
Is your child increasingly late for school or off ‘sick’? has there been a decline in the standard of schoolwork? If your child is being bullied or blackmailed on the internet, they might be finding it hard to concentrate on anything else.
Does your child suddenly act secretively when using their console, computer or mobile phone? For example, do they close down the computer or hang up the phone mid-conversation when you walk in the room? Try and be aware of changes in the way they behave around their devices.
Has your child started to put themselves down verbally or show other signs of low self-esteem? Cyberbullying and abuse online can seriously affect children’s self-confidence and self-esteem.
Has your child recently broken up with a girlfriend or boyfriend? When relationships go wrong, arguments can be played out over the internet and by phone. Relationship breakdowns in school environments can lead to online hate campaigns.
Is your child having trouble sleeping or suffering from a sudden loss of appetite? Or is your child having excessive mood swings? Although these can all be put down to ‘teenage‘ issues – they can also be indicative of problems such as cyberbullying and online abuse.