Study: Number of Youths Who Have Witnessed Cyberbullying Triples

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-06_24563a179f.jpgiStock/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) -- A study conducted by McAfee Online Security found a huge spike in the number of youths who have witnessed cyberbullying within the last year as compared to the same figure for 2013. According to McAfee's 2014 Teens and the Screen study, 87 percent of youths have witnessed cyberbullying. That figure was at just 27 percent in last year's study.

Of the respondents who said they were themselves cyberbullied, 72 percent said it had to do with their appearance. Other common reasons for cyberbullying were the victim's race or religion (26 percent of those who experienced cyberbullying) or sexuality (22 percent).

Perhaps more concerning, 24 percent of the youths who took part in McAfee's study said that they would not know what to do if they were harassed or bullied online.

The study also revealed a number of interesting figures regarding how young people use the Internet. The study found that one in three young people feel more accepted on social media than in real life, and nearly half of those who participated in the study have regretted something that they posted online.

McAfee also offered five tips for parents to help educate their children about online activity. They say parents should casually discuss the risks of online connections with their children, make sure they have the passwords for their children's social media accounts and mobile devices, know about the devices and technology children are using, and make sure their children are aware that all online posts live forever online.

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