SOURCE: TrueCare

August 24, 2010 14:10 ET

Ten Signs of Cyber Abuse

TrueCare.net Helps Parents Know When Their Children Are Being Bullied Online

SCHAUMBURG, IL--(Marketwire - August 24, 2010) -  Did you know that more than half of America's teens are exposed to cyber bullying? Studies show this form of abuse is growing at a very fast pace. Cyber bullying includes rumors, threats, gossip and humiliation and happens through e-mail, websites, blogs, chat rooms, text and instant messaging, and videos. Cyber bullying statistics point to devastating effects on victims, such as bad grades, emotional stress, depression, poor self-esteem, sleep disorders, headaches, stomach pains and in some cases, suicide.

As your kids get ready to go back to school, now is the time to think about Internet safety and how to recognize the signs of cyber abuse. As you check off items on your child's school supply list, you should also be thinking about how to protect your child from what can happen on the Internet.

"As technology advances and new forms of online social networking emerge, child safety on the Internet is of critical importance," said David Barker, for TrueCare LLC -- makers of Truecare.net -- a social media monitoring service for parents. "We want parents to know that cyber bullying is very real, sometimes very subtle, and there are things you can do to help prevent it."

Knowing the signs of cyber abuse is the first step. Here are 10 signs that your child might be a victim:

  1. Your child becomes secretive about what they are doing online
  2. Uses computers outside of home, such as at homes of friends, Internet cafes, or libraries
  3. Has a sudden decline in homework or grades
  4. Doesn't feel well, complains of headaches, stomach aches, or nervousness
  5. Is restless, has difficulty sleeping
  6. Shows changes in behavior or has mood swings
  7. Becomes withdrawn or displays low self-esteem
  8. Does not want to go to school or socialize
  9. Avoids telling you who their online friends are
  10. No longer wants to use the computer or cell phone

TrueCare.net recommends that parents get involved and monitor their child's online relationships, and that they set rules and limits for using the Internet and social networking sites, while reminding children that they trust them, but don't trust the other people out there.

About TrueCare.net

TrueCare's unique social media monitoring product was designed by parents as a way to effectively monitor their child's online social networking activity without invading their child's privacy. It is not easy to be a parent these days. The majority of teens now communicate via social networking sites. It is difficult to keep up with who your child is interacting with on these sites. TrueCare automatically tracks your child's social networking sites -- MySpace, Facebook and Twitter -- for inappropriate content and sends you an e-mail alert in real-time when it finds something concerning.

For more information, visit www.truecare.net.