10/02/2015 12:10 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Cyber Bullying: Children's Drawings Show Many Don't Know What A Cyber Bully Is

Kaspersky Lab

If you asked your child to draw a cyber bully what would their picture look like?

Would they know to draw a person sat at a computer, or would they sketch something more akin to an alien?

A collection of children's drawings showing what they believe to be cyber bullies highlights that many children are unaware of what the term means and therefore may not know how to ask for help if they were subjected to online bullying.

The children drew the pictures as part of a small study conducted by Kaspersky Lab to coincide with Safer Internet Day.

Each child produced a very different image. Some had clearly not come across the term before, with one drawing a dog-like creature, while another depicted a brightly coloured smiling man with spiky hair.

But some of the children clearly had a good understanding of what it means to be a cyber bully, with one particularly insightful child drawing a picture of a young girl crying, explaining, 'they've been hurt so now they want to hurt others!'

Commenting on the findings, researcher David Emm, principal security researcher said: "The term cyber bullying might not be one that parents want to highlight to their young children, but online behaviour and safety should go hand-in-hand with teaching them not to talk to strangers.

"Parents may feel that educating young children about online dangers is a minefield, however rather than feeling overwhelmed or unsure of how to tackle the issue, it may help to remember that the same dangers and advice apply when using the internet as they do in the real world.

"We encourage parents to talk openly about it as soon as their children start interacting online – which may be younger than they think. This will ensure that parents and children stay one step ahead of the cyberbullies and other online nasties, rather than vulnerable to attack due to a lack of awareness."

Click through the gallery below to see all the drawings of cyber bullies.

More on Parentdish

Safer Internet Day: A third of children have been bullied online

Raising children in a digital age: Advice for parents

Why children bully