Lake Norman resident and parent, Susan Wind, is on a mission to help parents become cyber smart, while educating Lake Norman youths on cyber safety as others are turning to technology as a means to torment their peers. Conducting seminars for small businesses, non-profit organizations and financial institutions all over the country, Wind is now offering programs to area schools, churches and organizations, geared towards concerned parents and teens who want to know more about cyber-bullying and its devastating effects.
“Bullies and mean kids have been around forever, but technology now gives them a whole new platform for their actions,” says Wind. “Being a parent is hard enough. Keeping up with what your kids are doing online is a big challenge, but there are tools to help.”
Research shows that many parents do not know what their children are doing online and are not aware of laws, methods to monitor their children in cyberspace, how to put parental controls on devices, let alone, what to do if they suspect bullying. According to The Cyberbullying Research Center, over 80% of teens use a cell phone regularly, making it the most popular form of technology and a common medium for cyber-bullying. About 52% of young people have experienced cyber-bullying in some form, and an astonishing 95% of teens who witness it on social media sites ignore the behavior.
Wind’s program, called kNOwmore, aims to educate parents and teens on the latest trends that our children are using to communicate electronically, the various apps they are using and the potential for misuse, including the consequences and legal ramifications associated with abusing these technologies by engaging in cyber-bullying. The program offers resources that parents will find helpful as they deal with these serious issues. Topics include case studies; a review of programs/apps teens are accessing; terminology and acronyms (aka code words), North Carolina laws and statutes that apply to cyber-bullying, future consequences, technologies available to monitor devices and much more.
Wind understands that it is not always easy to know how and when to step in as a parent. “The knowledge that kids have of the digital world can be intimidating to parents, but staying involved in our kids' cyber world, just as in their real world, can help parents protect them from its dangers.”
Susan Wind is a college professor who has taught, designed and implemented Criminal Justice and Cyber Crime courses throughout the US for the past twelve years. In addition, Wind is a consultant to the banking industry providing training to financial institutions all over the U.S. relating to cyber crimes, money laundering, identity theft, ATM/debit card thefts, and fraud. For the past four years, she has been conducting research and offering programs to local businesses on cyber-bullying. For more information, please visit www.parentsknowmore.com.