Cyber Safety Tips for Parents

Six ideas for conversation starters

1. Talk about what they like doing.

Talk about what they like doing online, e.g. what apps they use, what games they play or which YouTubers they follow.

2. Ask what they see that they worry about online.

Ask what they see that they worry about online and what they would do if something made them feel upset or worried.

3. Ask them for their top tips for staying safe online.

Ask your child to give you their top tips for how to stay safe online. This can help gauge their knowledge but also open the door to discussing these ideas further.

4. Go through the privacy settings for their apps

For every social media / messaging app or game that they use, get them to show you the privacy settings (e.g. the options that set out who can see their photos or follow their games) and how they would report or block someone or something that makes them uncomfortable or upset.

5. Talk about what information is OK to share

Talk about what information they think is okay to share and what is not okay to share (e.g. full name, email, address, passwords). Discuss what they might consider before sharing photos, and what kind of photos they like to share most.

6. Ask them for help

Ask your child to help you do something online, e.g. change the privacy settings on your social media account, search for information on something or download an app.

Ten Tips for Parents

1. Discover the Internet together

Be the one to introduce your child to the Internet. For both parent and child it is an advantage to discover the Internet together. Try to find web sites that are exciting and fun so that together you achieve a positive attitude to Internet exploration. This could make it easier to share both positive and negative experiences in the future.

2. Agree with your child rules for Internet use in your home

Try to reach an agreement with your child on the guidelines which apply to Internet use in your household. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Discuss when and for how long it is acceptable for your child to use the Internet
  • Agree how to treat personal information (name, address, telephone, e-mail)
  • Discuss how to behave towards others when gaming, chating, e-mailing or messaging
  • Agree what type of sites and activities are OK or not OK in our family

3. Encourage your child to be careful when disclosing personal information

It is important to be aware that many web pages made for children ask them for personal information in order to access personalised content. Being conscious of when and where it is all right to reveal personal information is vital. A simple rule for younger children could be that the child should not give out name, phone number or photo without your approval.

Older children using social networking sites like Facebook should be selective about what personal information and photos they post to online spaces. Once material is online you can no longer control who sees it or how it is used.

Teach your social networking teenagers how to use and apply the privacy and security settings of the site. All responsible sites have a Safety Centre and a Block and Reporting system. Learn together with your teen how to use the safety and security settings of the site.

4. Talk about the risks associated with meeting online “friends” in person

Adults should understand that the Internet could be a positive meeting place for children, where they can get to know other young people and make new friends. However, for safety and to avoid unpleasant experiences, it is important that children do not meet strangers they have met online without being accompanied by an adult, friends or others they trust. In any case, the child should always have their parents’ approval first.

5. Teach your child about evaluating information and being critically aware of information found online. 

Most children use the Internet to improve and develop knowledge in relation to schoolwork and personal interests. Children should be aware that not all information found online is correct, accurate or relevant. Educate children on how to verify information they find by comparing to alternative sources on the same topic. Show them trusted sites they can use to compare information.

6. Don’t be too critical towards your child’s exploration of the Internet

Children may come across adult material by accident on the Web. Also a child may intentionally searche for such web sites; remember that it is natural for children to be curious about off-limits material. Try to use this as an opening to discuss the content with them, and perhaps make rules for this kind of activity. Be realistic in your assessment of how your child uses the Internet.

7. Report online material you may consider illegal to the appropriate authorities

It is vital that we all take responsibility for the Web and report matters, which we believe could be illegal. By doing this we can help to prevent illegal activities online, such as child-pornography or attempts to lure children via chat, mail or messaging. The service provides an anonymous facility for the public to report suspected illegal content encountered on the Internet, in a secure and confidential way.  The primary focus of the Hotline is to combat child pornography.  Other forms of illegal content and activities exist on the Internet and may be reported using the service.

8. Encourage Respect for others; stamp out cyberbullying

There is an informal code of conduct for the Internet. As in everyday life, there are informal ethical rules for how to behave when relating to other people on the Internet. These include being polite, using correct language and not yell at (write in capital letters) or harass others. Also, children as well as grown ups should not read other’s e-mail or copy protected material.

9. Let your children show you what they like to do online

To be able to guide your child with regard to Internet use, it is important to understand how children use the Internet and know what they like to do online. Let your child show you which websites they like visiting and what they do there. Acquiring technical knowledge could also make it easier to make the right decisions regarding your child’s Internet use.

10. Remember that the positive aspects of the Internet outweigh the negatives.

The Internet is an excellent educational and recreational resource for children. There are millions of age appropriate sites for younger children. Encourage your children to use such sites and to avoid registering for sites and services with adult content and behaviours. Help your child read the Terms & Conditions of Service for any site which they wish to join and to comply with the age restrictions of the site. Help your child apply all the privacy and security settings on the site. Encourage your child to be critically aware and explore the Internet to its full potential

Cyber Safety Day

Safer Internet Day takes place on Tuesday 5th February, 2019 and this year’s theme is “Together for a Better Internet”. In light of this we would like to share some findings with you from the Cybersafety talks that were delivered to our 4th, 5th and 6th classes last October by Cybersafe Ireland.

Pupil Survey

Cybersafe Ireland is an Irish children’s charity which provides guidance to children, parents and teachers on safe and responsible use of the Internet. Prior to their visit, each child undertook an anonymous online survey based on their use of the Internet, digital devices and social media. The results below reflect some of the significant findings from the surveys.

  4th 5th 6th
Ownership of a smartphone 18% 25%Almost
Ownership of a gaming console   50% 61% 58%
Talking to a stranger online every day 10% 10%25%
Playing 18+ video games 22.8% 26% 38.2%
Appearance in a YouTube video in which
their face can be seen
20% 20% 25%
Use of Social Media Apps 4th class 5th class 6th class
Snapchat 18% 20% 41%
Instagram 8% 20% 42%
Whatsapp 10% 25% 47%

We all have a role in empowering the children in our care to be responsible digital citizens and increasingly more and more children are gaming online with classmates or strangers. Very often parents and guardians report a level of aggression or gamer rage in children which can spill over into the classroom.

Additionally, many children are randomly browsing through YouTube videos or are indeed posting their own videos in which their face can be seen or they are posting and sharing personal information as well as accepting friend requests from strangers on social media apps.

If we are all to “Work Together for a Better Internet” we would like to offer you some tips suggested by Cybersafe Ireland:

  • Do your research on safety for each app or game. Install and use them yourself if you
    can, or check them out on YouTube. A great website for information on apps, their risks
    and safety settings is
  • Discuss your concerns, agree rules (e.g. for sharing info and accepting friend requests)
    and check out the privacy/safety settings and reporting mechanisms together.
  • Keep an eye on their friends’ lists, language and tone they or others use, who they’re
    talking or gaming with, and what they are sharing online. Reiterate importance of
    controlling their information.
  • Discuss how words and actions can affect others. Encourage your child to look after their
    friends and to stand up to cyberbullying by always telling you when they see it going on.
  • Agree time limits up front and technology free time. Keep devices out of bedrooms,
    especially at night. Always try to model the same behaviour yourself.
  • Check out parental control options, especially for younger children, but do not place too
    much reliance on technical solutions as older children often find ways around them.
  • Snapchat & Instagram have an age restriction of 13 years old &  Whatsapp is 16 years old

Useful Links

Advice for Parents on Apps

Advice on Social Media

Advice for Parents

E-Safety Kit for Families

Advice for Pupils

Family Agreements

Anti – Cyber Bullying

On Tuesday and Wednesday this week our 4th , 5th and  6th classes will have talks on Cyber Safety.


Saint Brigid’s National School aims to ensure that children are safe and feel safe from bullying, harassment and discrimination. This school is committed to teaching children the knowledge and skills to be able to use ICT effectively, safely and responsibly.


  • Cyber bullying is the use of ICT (usually a mobile phone and or the internet) to abuse another person. It can take place anywhere, it involves a far wider audience than traditional bullying and can affect the victim even when not in the presence of the bully.
  • Anybody can be targeted including pupils and school staff
  • It can include threats, intimidation, harassment, cyber-stalking, vilification, defamation, exclusion, peer rejection, impersonation, unauthorized publication of private information or images etc.
  • While bullying involves a repetition of unwelcome behaviour the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools, September 2013, states:

2.1.3.      In addition, in the context of these procedures placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.


There are many types of cyber-bullying. The more common types are:

  1. Text messages – can be threatening or cause discomfort.    Also included here is‘ Bluejacking’ (the sending of anonymous text messages over short distances using bluetooth wireless technology)
  2. Picture/video-clips via mobile phone cameras – images sent to others to make the victim feel threatened or embarrassed
  3. Mobile phone calls – silent calls, abusive messages or stealing the victim‛s phone and using it to harass others, to make them believe the victim is responsible
  4. Emails – threatening or bullying emails, often sent using a pseudonym or somebody else‛s name
  5. Chat room bullying – menacing or upsetting responses to children or young people when they are in a web-based chat room
  6. Instant messaging (IM) – unpleasant messages sent while children conduct real-time conversations online using MSM (Microsoft Messenger), Yahoo Chat or similar tools
  7. Bullying via websites – use of defamatory blogs (web logs), personal websites and online personal ‘own web space’ sites such as You Tube, Facebook,, Twitter and Myspace – although there are others.

Explanation of slang terms used when referring to cyber-bullying activity: 

  1. ‘Flaming’: Online fights using electronic messages with angry and vulgar language
  2. Harassment’: Repeatedly sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages
  3. ‘CyberStalking’: Repeatedly sending messages that include threats of harm or are highly intimidating or engaging in other on-line activities that make a person afraid for his or her own safety
  4. Denigration’: ‘Dissing’ someone online. Sending or posting cruel gossip or rumors about a person to damage his or her reputation or friendships
  5. Impersonation’: Pretending to be someone else and sending or posting material online that makes someone look bad, gets her/him in trouble or danger, or damages her/his reputation or friendships
  6. Outing and Trickery’: Tricking someone into revealing secret or embarrassing information which is then shared online
  7. Exclusion’: Intentionally excluding someone from an on-line group, like a ‘buddy list’

This list is not exhaustive and the terms used continue to change.



  • To ensure that pupils, staff and parents understand what cyber bullying is and how it can be combated
  • To ensure that practices and procedures are agreed to prevent incidents of cyber-bullying
  • To ensure that reported incidents of cyber bullying are dealt with effectively and quickly.


  • All reports of cyber bullying will be investigated, recorded, stored in the Principal’soffice and monitored regularly
  • Pupils and parents will be urged to report all incidents of cyber bullying to the school
  • Pupils and their parents will sign a mobile phone usage contract if requesting permission to have a phone at school.
  • Parents will be provided with information and advice on how to combat cyber bullying through talks arranged by ICT post holder, information provided in the school newsletter and on the esafety page of the school website.
  • Staff CPD (Continuous Professional Development) will assist in learning about current technologies
  • The school will engage a speaker to facilitate a workshop on cyber bullying for 5th and 6th classes annually. Classes 1st to 6th will participate in the ‘Bullying in a Cyber World’ programme.
  • Pupils will learn about cyber bullying through Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE), assemblies, anti bullying week activities and other curriculum projects
  • Staff, pupils, parents and Board of Management (BoM) will be made aware of issues surrounding cyber bullying through the use of appropriate awareness-raising exercises
  • Procedures in our school Anti-bullying Policy shall apply
  • The police will be contacted in cases of actual or suspected illegal content
  • This policy will be reviewed annually. Pupils, parents and staff will be involved in reviewing and revising this policy and any related school procedure



If you are being bullied by phone or on the Internet:

  • Remember, bullying is never your fault. It can be stopped and it can usually be traced.
  • Don‛t ignore the bullying. Tell someone you trust, such as a teacher or parent or call an advice line.
  • Try to keep calm. If you are frightened, try to show it as little as possible. Don‛t get angry, it will only make the person bullying you more likely to continue.
  • Don‛t give out your personal details online – if you are in a chat room, do not say where you live, the school you go to, your email address etc. All these things can help someone who wants to harm you to build up a picture about you.
  • Keep and save any bullying emails, text messages or images. Then you can show them to a parent or teacher as evidence.
  • If you can, make a note of the time and date bullying messages or images were sent, and note any details about the sender
  • There is plenty of online advice on how to react to cyber bullying. For example, and have some useful tips.

 Text/video messaging

  • You can easily stop receiving text messages for a while by turning-off incoming messages for a couple of days. This might stop the person texting you by making them believe you‛ve changed your phone number
  • If the bullying persists, you can change your phone number. Ask your mobile service provider about this.
  • Don‛t reply to abusive or worrying text or video messages.
  • Your mobile service provider will have a number for you to ring or text to report phone bullying. Visit their website for details.
  • Don‛t delete messages from cyber bullies. You don‛t have to read them, but you should keep them as evidence.

Useful Websites