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.
Cybersafe Ireland is an Irish children’s charity which provides guidance to children, parents and teachers on safe and responsible use of the Internet.
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:
- Talk to your child as often as possible about what they see and do online. Useful websites for conversation starters include www.cybersafeireland.org , www.webwise.ie , www.netsmartz.org and www.childnet.com
- 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 www.commonsensemedia.org
- 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