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Scholars under siege from cyber bullies

JOHANNESBURG – LEARNER online safety is back in the spotlight as South Africa’s 23 000 public sector schools reopened to some 12 million learners.

Amid the new term, the Internet Service Providers’ Association of South Africa (ISPA) is worried about online threats to learners, schools and wants this issue to be mitigated.

The organisation warned that from cyber bullies to social media posts that can come back to haunt them later in life, online interaction can sometimes have severe consequences for learners.

“Learners today have grown up with the Internet at their fingertips and it forms a significant part of their daily lives,” said ISPA chair, Sasha Booth-Beharilal.

“With access to entertainment and information, comes the risk of being exposed to harmful content and equally harmful predators, scammers and cyberbullies.”

Cyber bullying remains a top concern for parents and schools as well as the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Experts have provided advice to help children and teens deal with cyber bullies.

They must not respond or retaliate to threats.

Victims can also block the bully or report abusive comments to administrators.

Parents and schools are advised to always report cyber crime to the police.

SAPS has a Cybercrime Division.

– CAJ News

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