In Mexico, cyberbullying or cyberbullying is a practice that is largely carried out behind the collectivity of a group and is mainly aimed at exposing or making fun of the physical aspects of people, especially those of young people who have a relationship very close with digital platforms.
According to a recent study by the cybersecurity firm McAfee, in Mexico the rate of group bullying reported by parents was 41%, a figure that is above the world average (32%).
Erick Espinosa, McAfee product manager for Latin America, explains that this behavior occurs because the person who perpetrates cyberbullying does not get a response from the victim and that sends the wrong message to other people that it did not have an impact. “That’s when the others in the group steel themselves and make angry comments,” he details.
According to Mexican minors, among all forms of cyberbullying, the most frequent is that related to physical appearance, since 45% said they had suffered this type of attack, which was linked to their way of dressing, lifestyle and their friends.
Many stated that they talk to their friends about cyberbullying (71%), which places them among the most in the world. However, they admitted that they hide cyberbullying from their parents.
Although there are tools within social networks to report abusive practices, Espinosa points out that sometimes they are not used out of shame or shame, which is why she encourages parents to talk with their children and trust each other so that they do not delete the comments.
According to the report, 93% of Mexican parents stated that they were more concerned about cyberbullying this year than last year, compared to 72% in the rest of the world, making them the most concerned globally.
The document also reported high levels of racially motivated cyberbullying in several countries. However, Mexico showed the minimum, since only 14% of parents stated that their children were victims of this type of cyberbullying.
The data showed that Facebook was the platform on which parents reported a higher percentage of cyberbullying, while Instagram is at 14%, the lowest rate internationally. However, social networks continue to be one of the main routes of cyberbullying.
“The internet is not bad. It is something with which the new generations were born and we must use them responsibly”, he mentions and highlights that in them the term “friend” should become more relevant and not be used for any contact, because “creating a real group of friends reduces this types of behaviors and allows them to be reported when they occur.
Supervision and support to combat cyberbullying
86% of Mexican parents reported resorting to device monitoring, while their second most common tactic was talking to their children, with a similar percentage (85%), which far exceeds the international average (64%) .
The approach, Espinosa recommends, should not be prohibiting or restricting access to the Internet. Rather, parents should know the most common terms and applications that their children are using to establish a deeper relationship with them and educate them about the consequences of some practices that could put them at risk, such as sharing photos.
In addition, it highlights that being aware of the apps used by minors allows them to know their settings and gives their privacy a layer of greater security, since it also prevents access to data such as geolocation or the microphone.