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ISPCC Press Release marking Safer Internet Day (News Item)


The objective of Safer Internet Day (7th February) is to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially amongst children and young people across the world.

The internet has become an integral part of the everyday lives of young people in Ireland; however recent findings on the extent to which young people adhere to safety precautions while online is cause for great concern. In October 2011 the
ISPCC National Children’s Consultation report “This will come back and bite us in the butt” looked at young people’s attitude towards and experience of the internet. The survey found that a quarter of secondary aged children do not use any privacy settings on their social network profile; clearly indicating that many young people are not taking necessary and available steps to ensure their information is kept private. In addition, the findings showed that over 2,000 (16%) of the secondary aged group surveyed stated that they had met up with someone from online.

Young people are spending hours away in their bedrooms, on the internet, without supervision or the awareness of their parents about what they are looking at or who they are talking to. The ISPCC is urging parents to become better informed about online safety and to communicate with their children around the rules and boundaries of internet usage.

Margie Roe, National Childline Manager, today said;
“We know from children who use our Childline Online services that the internet can be a great communication tool for young people as well as a great resource for accessing support and information. The internet can be a very positive experience but there is still a need to issue a safety warning about potential risks and dangerous situations young people may find themselves in if they do not adhere to sufficient privacy and safety precautions. Parents must be aware of the risks and always communicate with their children about internet safety.”

Last year, Childline launched the
“Safe Click Code” – a guide to staying safe online to offer tips and support to both parents and young people, to ensure safety while online.

Tips for Parents on safer internet use:
  • Be aware of and use internet safety tools
  • Communicate openly with children about their internet use
  • Discover the internet together
  • Agree rules for internet use
  • Encourage your child to be careful when disclosing personal information
  • Allow space for your child to discuss events and concerns regarding their online experiences
  • Talk about the risks of meeting an online friend face to face
  • Don’t be too critical of your child’s web browsing
  • Report illegal online material to the Gardaí or to
  • Encourage good ‘netiquette’
  • Know your child’s net use
  • Remember that the positive aspects of the internet outweigh the negatives

Tips for young people:
  • Don’t give out personal information online
  • Use only a first name or nickname to identify yourself
  • Never send photographs of yourself
  • Never agree to meet someone you met online without supervision
If you are being bullied online or by mobile phone it’s important to:
  • Save the evidence
  • Tell an adult
  • Don’t respond to the bully
  • Block the bully; if the harassment is coming in the form of instant messages, texts, or profile comments, use preferences or privacy tools to block the person, if it’s in chat, leave the “room.”

Visit website (opens in new window)Visit website (opens in new window)Visit EU Safer Internet Programme website (opens in new window) Visit website (opens in new window) Visit National Parents Council website (opens in new window)
© COPYRIGHT Office for Internet Safety 2008