Internet Safety

Internet Safety for Schools Ireland from www.isfsi.ie.

  • For children under 13 years –the focus should be on avoiding risk online
  • For children over 13 years –the focus should be on managing risk online

In line with the Children’s Online Privacy Protect Act (COPPA) children must be 13 years of age or older to use Social Networking Sites (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.). If your child has an account on a SNS make sure their settings are private and watch their “friends/followers”. Also check the age your child is online. For more information on the various Social Networking Sites check out the following:

Search Engines

When searching online use safer search engines for younger children such as

YouTube

YouTube is designed for children aged 13 years and over so parental involvement is central. Some very funny videos (Sminky shorts etc.) but some childlike videos have also been edited (e.g. Dora the explorer). Use safety mode to filer search results (last option on the bottom of the page –make sure it is turned on).

Gaming

For online gaming check the content of the games. The PEGI rating system rates games based on content, not skill level. For more information:

Access parental controls for your child’s gaming consol:

Mobile Phones

Access parental controls for your child’s mobile phone and keep mobiles out of the bedroom especially at night. The main mobile operators in Ireland – Meteor, O2, Vodafone and 3 have published a booklet to explain the additional features of modern mobile phones.

Mobile Minder is a relatively new service for android and smart phones. This service enables parents to monitor all contacts to and from their child’s phone. Parents are alerted if text messages containing words linked to cyber-bullying, sexting or unusual behaviour are sent or received. For more information see:

KytePhone and KyteTime also offer parents controls over their child’s smart phone.

Cyber-Bullying

Cyber-bullying is a behaviour issue, not a technology problem. Appropriate behaviour online is the same as appropriate behaviour in real life. It is therefore imperative that we teach our children how to be respectful and responsible when online.

For more information on cyber-bullying

Via mobile phone: http://www.o2online.ie/o2/about-o2/content.php?cid=95

Via Internet: www.internetsafety.ie

Online Chat

From speaking with students all across Ireland, chatting online is mainly done using Facebook and its various linked accounts such as askfm and tumblr, MSN, Gmail, SKYPE and online gaming. Increasingly Apps such as WhatsApp, Snapchat and Viber are used to chat. Parents should discuss with children from a young age, what is okay to share online and what is not (e.g. personal details). Parents should be aware of how their child is chatting online (i.e. to friends or strangers aka randomers? through text or webcam?) Parents can familiarize themselves with online chat lingo if they are concerned about their child’s online chatting.

For more information:

See www.isfsi.ie “News Section” for individual articles on cyber-bullying, mobile phones, online gaming, Facebook, Searching online and YouTube.

Remember Parental Involvement is key!!!!