Keep your child safe online this Christmas

by Rose Barrett
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MEP Colm Markey is calling on parents to take proactive measures to keep their children safe online this Christmas.

The Midlands-North-West MEP said help is at hand for anyone struggling to keep pace with the rapidly evolving digital world. In recent years, appalling cases of cyberbullying, gambling and inappropriate content have been reported and impacted tragically on some youth and children, leaving broken hearted parents and family unaware of the vicious online targeting.

MEP Colm Markey
MEP Colm Markey

The Irish MEP highlighted the work of the Irish Safer Internet Centre – co-funded by EU – as the one-stop shop for information and advice.

He commented “Cyberbullying, addiction, in-game spending and inappropriate material are some of the main issues that parents are bringing to the Irish Safer Internet Centre, which includes the ISPCC, the National Parents Council, Hotline.ieand Webwise.ie.

With Christmas around the corner, now is the time for parents to be mindful of their children’s digital safety. By staying informed and taking proactive measures, we can create a safer space for our kids to enjoy the benefits of technology responsibly.”

“As a father of two young children, I’m aware of the challenges that parents face in navigating the online world, particular when it comes to online gaming. Whether it’s monitoring screen time, setting parental controls, or engaging in open and honest conversations, help is at hand for parents who might need support and guidance”, he continued.

Markey said the Irish Safer Internet Centre has some useful tips for keeping children safe online over the festive season.

“It’s important to do your research when purchasing a new device, game or app. Familiarise yourself with how it works and whether it’s appropriate for them to play. Explore the safety and privacy settings and find out how to enable any parental controls. When it comes to screen time, striking a healthy balance is key. Agree clear rules and set a good example. It’s also important to have open and regular dialogue. Ensure your child knows they can come to you if they see something that upsets them. Above all, parents should be aware that expert advice is available through the Irish Safer Internet Centre”, he concluded.

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