Parents: Internet Safety FAQs Answered
What is Cyberbullying?
According to the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools, ‘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’. In contrast, ‘isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour including a once-off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging do not fall within this definition of bullying’.
Cyberbullies use the internet, mobile phones and other technologies to inflict psychological harm on their targets. Cyberbullying can take so many different forms. Sending mean or threatening messages, emails, photos or video clips, posting nasty messages to social networking sites, message boards, or chat rooms, setting up fake profiles to say bad things about someone or accessing someone’s account repeatedly to make trouble for them are all part of what constitutes bullying online.
What do I do if my Child is a Victim of Cyberbullying?
Firstly, tell your child not to reply to any messages – it’s exactly what the cyberbully wants. It’s vital that any messages are kept too, it will help the investigation. Your child should also block the sender. Most sites and phone providers can help with this. On top of this, you should report the cyberbullying to school authorities or if it’s of an extremely serious nature, the gardai or hotline.ie.
What is Internet Filtering
Filtering software is primarily a computer programme which blocks access to certain websites. It is easily installed on your home computer and will ensure that the majority of unsuitable content cannot be viewed by your child. Filtering is not 100 per cent successful – some things will slip through the net – but it will help you keep your child safe online at home.
What is the Proper age to Allow my Child use Facebook?
Under the new E.U General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Ireland has now set the Digital Age of Consent to 16 years old. This means young people under the age of 16 in Ireland are not allowed to access this platform. Most social networking websites like Facebook do not allow users who are under the age of 13. However, in reality, many young people use these websites because the big companies have no way of verifying ages. It is up to you as a parent. If you think your child is ready, it is a good idea to supervise their access and agree rules about social networking use.
What is a Suitable Age to let my Child Have a Mobile Phone?
There is no right answer to this question. It very much depends on your own situation and how you feel about it as a parent. Research shows that phone users are becoming younger all the time. But that does not mean that you should compromise just because your young son or daughter wants a mobile. As a parent, you should make yourself aware of the risks that mobiles bring and also educate yourself about their use. Now, smartphones are not just phones.
Can Webwise Recommend any Safe and Secure Websites?
Why, yes we can. Click here for a list of websites which we are more than happy to recommend.
What Is the Key Internet Safety Advice?
Discover the internet together. Be the one to introduce your child to the web. Don’t be too critical of their exploration of the net, it’s not always their fault when they come across inappropriate content. Encourage your child to be careful when disclosing personal information online and keep the computer in a common area of the house. Report anything online you think is illegal and discuss the risks of meeting people offline that your children first met online.
Are There any Classes or Seminars on Internet Safety for Parents?
Yes, the National Parents Council Primary (NPC) in collaboration with Webwise run extensive internet safety seminars which will demystify the net for you. The seminars, which you can organise for your child’s school, are run by a trained NPC facilitator, who we assure you is on top of the latest fads and trends doing the school rounds.
How Do I Switch on Google Safe Search?
Go the Google Support site here, and you’ll find instructions on how to activate Safe Search for your computer, phone and tablet.
How Do I Switch on YouTube Safety Mode?
Again, no need to explain here. Watch this video tutorial here.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is known as a micro-blogging site where users are limited to posting messages of 140 characters or less. Posting a message is known as a tweet. People make connections by following other people’s twitter feeds. Once you click follow, anything that person or organisation says will appear on your timeline.
What are Video Chat Websites?
Here is our article explaining what video chat websites are and how they operate.
What is Snapchat?
Snapchat is an instant messaging application used to share photos, videos, text, and drawings. It’s free to download the app and free to send messages using it. It has become hugely popular in a very short space of time, especially with young people. There is one feature that makes Snapchat different from other forms of texting and photo sharing: the messages disappear from the recipient’s phone after a few seconds.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a social networking app which allows its users to share pictures and videos with their friends.
The app can be downloaded for free from the usual app stores and takes pride of place on many a young person’s (and older!) smart phone.
What is ooVoo?
ooVoo is a free video chat and instant messaging app for mobiles, tablets, computers and MACs. One of the main appeals for ooVoo is it allows you to chat up to 12 people at once, anytime and anywhere.
What is YikYak?
Yik Yak is a service that allows you to get a live feed of what people are saying around you. What differentiates Yik Yak from other anonymous messaging apps is that it is location based. The app combines GPS and instant messaging technologies to allow users to share and discover what people are talking about within a 10-mile radius. For this reason the app has become a particularly popular source for news and gossip on college campuses.
What is Kik?
Kik is a mobile messaging application that can be used on both android and iPhone. The popular app which is free to use is similar to Viber and WhatsApp but has some additional functions that differentiate it. For example, an internal browser, meaning users are encouraged to spend more time within the app.
Read our article on the 5 most popular apps and social networks among Irish teens here: webwise.ie/5-apps-and-websites-teens-love/