Doherty organises public meeting and produces cyber safety guide for parents
“What goes online stays online.” These are the words of caution for parents from Meath East Minister of State and Government Chief Whip, Regina Doherty, who is working to protect children from the potential risks of online communications.
Minister Doherty has produced a comprehensive Cyber Safety booklet to help educate parents about the social media websites and apps being used by their children. She is also holding a public meeting on the topic this coming Monday 27th February in Dunboyne Castle Hotel at 8pm.
Explaining the need for the initiative, Minister Doherty said: “Recent research from the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre at Dublin City University shows that Irish teenagers are among the fourth highest in the EU for sexting, with over 4.4% of boys and 1.6% of girls aged 11-16 engaged in the behaviour.
“Children and parents need to be aware that what goes online, stays online, and we should never post images of ourselves or other content that we wouldn’t want to see remain forever on the internet for anyone to find.
“Cyber bullying is also a significant problem with 14% of our primary school children and 10% of post-primary school children having experienced it. Everyone should be careful with the images and texts they send, and ensure you never send anything you wouldn’t wanted shared around or posted online. Sometimes this is done maliciously, which is appalling. But sometimes people may not realise what they are doing, thinking they are making a light-hearted joke, which unfortunately could then develop into a bullying situation.
“My cyber safety leaflet and upcoming public meeting are both designed to educate parents and help them navigate this new world that lies right at their children’s fingertips. Unfortunately cyberbullying can be a silent predator; knowledge, communication and oversight is more important now than ever.”
Regina Doherty’s Cyber Safety Guide for Parents and Guardians is available here.