Safe Internet Use
As you are aware, we have moved to online teaching due to the social distancing measures brought in as a result of Covid-19. Now, more than ever it is important for parents to know how to talk with and keep their child safe online.
We hope the advice below will help our students and their parents work together to ensure they are using the internet safely.
Advice for helping your child be safe online:
- Talk with your child and help them understand that they should only be friends with and share information with people that they know online.
- Students should be taught to only post comments, photos or videos of content that they would know that their parents would be happy to read or see.
- Ensure information shared is positive, real and healthy.
- Parents to ensure that their child use social networking apps that are secure/have parental controls which are set suitable to their child’s age and ability.
- Teach students to keep their personal data private. Parents to ensure that “Restriction Settings” are used RE: content availability and location settings.
Parents to tell their child that they are going to place boundaries on:
- Time limited access online.
- Where in the home you can use social media.
- Parents to monitor their child’s use of technology and have access at all times to passwords and to do this in an open way.
Keep these conversations open, transparent and clear; this will remind your child for the need to be safe online, it is not about catching them doing something worrying, rather it is about teaching them to be sensible and safe online.
Students to hand up their devices at night, this will help improve sleep hygiene, it is safer and is a good habit forming behaviour for life.
Parents to reassure their child if someone tries to make contact with them that makes them feel uncomfortable, that they can tell their parents and are not in trouble for doing so.
If anything suspicious is sent to your children, possibly illegal or abusive, remove the device from your child, do not delete it and contact An Garda Siochana.
Parents to be vigilant for:
* Online Bullying: Bullying can take place on any online forum and social media sites. It can also take place on mobile phones and because technology is everywhere. It is more invasive as it continues outside school.
* Sexting: children sharing intimate images online which are then used as bullying or
* Exploitation: adults contacting children online.
Advice for students:
- Be careful what you post: Any comment or image you post online will stay there forever, no matter if you delete it or not, there is always evidence of it being there. Follow the “granny rule”; if you do not want your granny to see it, do not post it.
- Watch what you say: Be respectful online. Try not to get swept up in emotion and say something you would not say face to face. Never post when you are angry.
- People you meet online: Do not give out personal information online such as your home address, your last name, school name or phone number. All may not be as it seems when it comes to online “friends”.
- Cyberbullying: Speak to a trusted adult if you feel you are a victim of cyberbullying. Also:
Keep a record of offensive messages or materials
Go offline for a while
Delete social media accounts if needed
If bullying is over a prolonged period report it to the Gardaí.
Additional resources regarding online safety