A NORTH-EAST cybersecurity firm has warned parents of the risks of cyberbullying to their children’s wellbeing in support of Anti-Bullying Week.

As well as the emotional harm of cyberbullying, Seaham-based CyberWhite warns it can lead to security risks like the posting of humiliating images or private details without consent, grooming, theft, fraud and deception. The firm is encouraging parents to download software to help them monitor their children’s activity.

David Horn, director at CyberWhite, said: “In the age of social media, bullying has seen a shift away from traditional playground taunts towards an equally malicious online platform. With the country coming to a standstill due to the coronavirus, cyberbullying has increased dramatically.

“Online bullying often provides anonymity for the perpetrator, increasing the number of targets, and in this case not even the rich and famous are safe. Cyberbullying can claim many victims as trolls stalk social media platforms looking for easy prey.

“After a year spent indoors and online, Anti-Bullying Week is even more poignant this year, helping to raise awareness of the massive spikes in cyberbullying and how we can help victims.

“We need to be aware, now more than ever, of the risks of cyberbullying and the detrimental effects it can have in the real world. Parents need to be especially vigilant and ensure that adult filters and security systems are up to date in addition to considering extra software to monitor their children’s activity.”

Mr Horn advises parents to secure online information, report unusual activity on accounts and only using reputable sites.