Parents need to be more aware of the dangers and risks of letting children online too much, according to experts and parents.
February 7th marks Safer Internet Day, which aims to raise awareness about the dangers of the online world.
Irish charity CyberSafeKids has released a survey that found 29% of parents are extremely concerned about the risk of their children being groomed online.
More than 80% of parents believe it is their responsibility to keep their children safe online, but 52% said they don’t know how.
Father-of-three Robert said his two older children have tablets and those tablets have “tight controls” to prevent them accessing harmful content.
“Setting up those type of controls, especially that kids can’t go around them is non-trivial, it’s really hard to do,” he told Lunchtime Live.
“Expecting people who aren't doing that as their day job to be able to do that sort of thing, it's just not realistic.”
Siobhan O’Neill-White from Mams.ie said parents still need to take more responsibility for their children’s online safety.
“If you go and let your kid out in the backyard and play with knives, who’s responsible?” she said.
“You can go and do a one-day media course, or if you have a teenager, you just get them to show you how to do it.
“You should be monitoring what they're doing... I personally wouldn’t give a child under 10 a tablet.”
Being careful online
In Ms O'Neill-White's own experience, she recalled her sister was on Bebo, a precursor to Facebook, talking to someone online.
“We did a bit of digging and we found out that the person she was speaking to wasn't a 17-year-old girl,” she said.
“It was actually a man who was much much older, and she has given up so much of our personal information, what school she goes to, what GAA club she’s in.
“Your child could be on Roblox or Minecraft, one of those innocent games... but you have to be careful.”
Webwise.ie offers advice on online safety both for young people and their parents.
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