End Cyberbullying Now by Monitoring Internet Activity and Exposing Bullies

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Two teenage girls in southwest Florida have been charged with felony aggravated stalking after allegedly creating a profile on Facebook in the name of a classmate, and posting nude photos. Pandora Corp. co-founder Jamie Leasure tells parents how they can help end cyberbullying by exposing the bullies in their own home.

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Bottom line: make sure your child is not a bully.

Last week, two teenage girls in southwest Florida were arrested and charged with felony aggravated stalking in a case that involves Facebook, fake profiles, nude photos and cyberbullying.

According to an Associated Press report, authorities say that the 15-year-old and 16-year old girls from Lee County, Florida, created a fake Facebook profile in the name of a classmate. The eight-month investigation revealed that the girls doctored nude photos and posted them to the profile, with the intent of embarrassing and terrorizing the victim.

“This is 100-percent cyberbullying,” states Pandora Corp. co-founder Jamie Leasure. “And it was 100-percent preventable.”

An ABC story says the fake profile amassed 181 friends, and the victim began to endure ridiculing at school. That’s when she discovered the page; and that’s when the case became an issue of cyberbullying.

Statistics show and experts agree cyberbullying has reached epidemic proportions. As states scramble to adopt new laws to punish the bullies that are caught, schools are wrestling with boundaries of involvement, while stressing awareness and education to students. But Leasure says stopping this heinous act rests in the hands of the parents; cyberbullying is here to stay until the parents of the bullies take action.

“Cyberbullying thrives on anonymity,” explains Leasure. “Not only are the bullies anonymous online, but they are working in secret in their own homes. Cyberbullying won’t stop until the parents of the bullies know what their children are doing online, and care enough to step in and stop it.”

Pandora Corp. makes PC Pandora computer monitoring software. Like the DVR for your TV, PC Pandora records everything and anything on your PC, allowing parents to see everything their child is doing both off and online. Parents can see screenshots of all activity, plus text-based logs of all emails sent and received, instant messenger conversations, social network chats and posts, websites visited and much more. Whatever a child does on the computer, good or bad, PC Pandora will show their parents everything.

PC Pandora can help end the cyberbullying epidemic by showing parents exactly what their kids are doing online; parents can see and will know who their children are interacting with others on the Internet. If a child is being bullied, the parents will have records and information they can use to help put an end to the situation before it gets worse. But Leasure notes the program will battle cyberbullying by alerting parents when they have a bully in the house.

“In some situations, PC Pandora will reveal that a child is the aggressor or a participant in the bullying of others,” explains Leasure. “If that is the case, parents will have the information and knowledge of the situation needed to sit down and talk to their child. They can put an end to the behavior before schools or law enforcement get involved and charges are filed.”

In the past year, stories from around the country have appeared in the media of teenagers being held accountable for their bullying online and being charged with crimes. This comes as a result of states strengthening their laws to protect cyberbullying victims. At the beginning of 2011, we learned about the group of six girls in Nevada arrested for coordinating via Facebook "Attack a Teacher Day" at two middle schools. At the end of 2010, six teenage boys were arrested and are being charged with bullying a fellow student in Texas. In Illinois two female middle school students were charged with harassment after they allegedly set up a Facebook page to slander and harass a classmate; they will soon face a Peer Jury. There is also the tragic case of Phoebe Prince, who committed suicide after enduring months of online bullying; three teenage girls have been charged with cyberbullying that resulted in the suicide.

Leasure says parents need to go back to basics and talk to their kids about bullying and the act of being kind to others, both in real life and on the Internet. But he says that alone is not enough; parents need to monitor their child’s Internet activity.

“Now more than ever, parents absolutely must be aware of what their child is doing online and what is happening in their digital lives,” he states. “Just as much as parents should be concerned when their child is a victim, they should take steps to make certain their child is not an aggressor in any way. Schools and law enforcement are pushing no tolerance policies that can make something your child thinks is ‘just a joke’ into an incident that can remain with a child for years. Bottom line: make sure your child is not a bully.”

And to the bullies in cyberspace, Leasure sends a warning: “The laws and culture are changing, and bullying is not going to be tolerated anymore. Bullies will be found and held accountable for their actions, and it's likely that very severe penalties will become the rule, not the exception, in the near future.”

It is essential for all parents to monitor their children’s activity and behavior on the Internet just as they would in real life. Fortunately, tools like PC Pandora make it easy to do so. For more information and a free trial of PC Pandora, visit http://pcpandora.com.

About PC Pandora:
Pandora Corporation was formed with one goal – to help our customers monitor, control and protect their families and themselves online. First released in mid 2005, PC Pandora has been constantly upgraded to industry-leading specifications and has received accolades from users, reviewers and even school districts and law enforcement agencies, who use the program to help in the day-to-day supervision of the children and citizens they are charged with protecting. The company website devotes space to helping parents by providing them with 18 Tips to Safe Surfing and Pandora’s Blog, where current news in the world of online safety is discussed regularly. In addition, the Pandora Corp. has made the PD Pandora Internet Safety Symposium available to schools and law enforcement as a free resource for spreading internet safety awareness to parents. Over the past few years, PC Pandora has vaulted into a leadership position for parental control software by boasting a combination of features that are unparalleled in the monitoring industry. In 2010, Version 6.0 was released, again widening the spectrum of coverage and protection offered by the program. Concurrently released with 6.0, the web-based PC Pandora LIVE! service affords parents the ability to keep their kids safe from anywhere at anytime. PC Pandora is also now available through the Pandora Corp. store at Amazon.com.

Reporters and Producers: Are you covering this topic? We are your technology solution component. Software is available to journalists for review and testing. Staff members are available for interviews. Let us help you show your audience how easy it can be to keep their kids safe.

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