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Cyberbullying & Internet Safety – Info from recent talk by Ger Brick

Mr. Ger Brick attended Lisnagry N.S recently to speak to the children from 4th – 6th class about internet safety / cyberbullying.
He also presented a parent information evening, which was open to parents from all classes.

The parent talk incorporated video, guidelines, practical demonstrations and discussion, providing parents with practical non-technical information and guidance for keeping their children and families safe online.

After running the pupils workshop with the 4th to 6th classes  in the school Ger was armed with info that related directly to the parents in the room. He was engaging and extremely informative and knowledgeable on the topic.

Thank you to all the parents who made the effort to attend. It was an extremely valuable, informative evening. Feedback was hugely positive.

It doesn’t matter what age your child is, it is important for parents to be armed with knowledge. kids are clever and will always want to be one step ahead of us but it’s parents responsibility to make sure they are  kept as  safe and protected as best we can.

Here are a few of the tips that stood out as important after the talk the other night

1  Make sure your kids feel like they can talk to you if something should happen them online. One of the stand out stats from the talk was that on average 75% of kids would find it either ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’ to tell their parents if something made them uncomfortable online. It is  frightening to think that the main reason they wouldn’t tell is because they are worried that their phone or tablet would be taken off them. So reassure kids there won’t be any repercussions (even if there will be!) if they come to you with a problem. As a general rule of thumb ask them, out of interest rather than interrogation, what they enjoy online or what they do – make the conversation a positive one not one focused on rules and negativity.

2 Kids make mistakes online so make sure they avoid using their real names when they are young. Our digital footprint is near impossible to erase so you don’t want some silly mistake made by a 12 year old to be the first result returned in Google 10 years later when a prospective employer Googles their name. Get kids to use an abbreviation.

3 If you buy your child a mobile phone do so on the absolute assurance that all passwords are to be given to the parents and that even though the phone is ‘theirs’ you are still allowed access to everything. Snapchat is probably the only app now that is impossible for a parent to police but with all other apps you should have access and you should exercise your right.

4 Parental controls work across tablets (not ipads!) and computers and can give a parent a huge amount of control and oversight. You can block certain words being searched, you can see what a child has searched, what websites they’ve visited and you can even remotely shut down a tablet between certain hours.

5 Never let a phone, tablet or gaming console past the foot of the stairs – make sure they are used in visible places where there is no hiding what a child is up to. This should actually go for adults too, phones distrupt our sleep patterns so they should remain out of sight when we need to relax and switch off.

6 Screenshot and block – if your child decides they don’t want to be contacted by someone and they have reason to because that person made them feel uncomfortable encourage them to screenshot any conversations between said child and unwanted contact before they block them. Apps like Snapchat and Kick delete all conversations once the person is blocked so with no proof it may be hard to take anything further should it need to.

7 If your child downloads an app or wants to play a game online google the name of the app/game along with the words ‘what a parent needs to know’ so you can be fully aware of the potential dangers.

8 Look at your own phone/tablet habits and think about how they might appear to a child.

9 Look out for a change in behaviour with your child and their mobile phone/tablet – if they become either obsessive or they suddenly refuse to touch their phone there could be an issue there so just keep an eye out for a change in behaviour.

 

Please click on the link below to access Ger Brick’s  presentation to parents of the school. www.inetsafetytalk.com/parentinfo

The material is password protected. The password will be distributed to parents.  We ask that the password is not shared on social media.

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Lisnagry National School
(Lios Na Groi) School Road,
Richill, Lisnagry
Co. Limerick
Tel: +353 61 331011
Email: [email protected]