Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 07/02/2017. Tags: Parenting
CyberSafeIreland, the children’s internet safety charity, says that parents are overwhelmed by the challenge of keeping their kids safe online.
CyberSafeIreland is today - Safer Internet Day 2017 - launching a short scribe animation film for parents that is designed to help them take important steps towards being better informed, and crucially, towards greater online safety for their children.
Cliona Curley, cybercrime expert and co-founder of CyberSafeIreland said:
“Parents often tell us that the greatest challenge they face in protecting their children online is a lack of knowledge and being unable to “keep up” with what their kids are doing. The video we are launching today will help bridge that knowledge gap as it provides a simple and easy to understand resource for parents.
One of our key objectives is to de-mystify internet safety for parents and to help move them beyond feeling overwhelmed to a place where they feel empowered to take simple steps to address online safety at home. It is absolutely critical that parents become more engaged in their children’s online lives”
CyberSafeIreland has spoken to more than 4,000 children aged between 8 and 13 since it launched just over a year ago, as well as many of their parents.
The charity’s research has found that 28% of children have been in contact with a stranger either occasionally or every day on social media, messaging or gaming platforms.
Whilst many connections are harmless, there are cases where the contact with strangers is of significant concern, particularly for the 5% of children who are in contact with a stranger on a daily basis.
Mick Moran, Assistant Director for Vulnerable Communities at INTERPOL, and special advisor to CyberSafeIreland on Online Criminality said:
“For all the advantages of this digital revolution, the reality is that the Internet also hugely facilitates those adults who have a sexual interest in children. Ten thousand child sex abuse victims have been identified in the last seven years by INTERPOL but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Parents, law enforcement, the private sector, in fact every part of society has a vital role to play in keeping children safe online. Today is a reminder of our joint responsibility.”
Top Tips that are suggested for parents include:
Start the conversation now! As soon as your child shows interest in your phone or tablet, talk about what's okay and not okay to do online in an age appropriate manner. Talk to your kids about what they do and see online as often as possible.
Do your research. Check out the apps and games that your child is using or wants to use. Download it yourself or watch videos on YouTube about it and see what functionality it has. Look, in particular, at whether it has a chat facility, how to apply safety /privacy settings and how to report abuse.
Agree the rules. Put appropriate boundaries in place and apply them consistently, e.g. where they can use their devices, who can be on their friends lists, what behaviour is acceptable, and not to share location. Most importantly keep an eye on what your children are doing online.