Online hub aims to make internet a safer realm

Ireland’s youth information website has partnered with social network Twitter to launch an online safety hub to make it easier for young people to deal with internet abuse.

Online hub aims to make internet a safer realm

The SpunOut.ie online safety hub contains a set of easy-to-understand guides and advises on ways to safeguard users’ privacy and security when using popular social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and SnapChat, and dating apps like tinder, Grindr, and OK Cupid.

SpunOut.ie action panel member Ellie Walsh, 22, described the hub as a “giant move forward” in empowering young people to be informed and take control of their online sharing.

“It is vital that the discussions around the online safety of young people doesn’t only exist in adult forums,” she said.

The hub, launched at Twitter’s headquarters in Dublin yesterday to mark Safer Internet Day, has “youth-proofed” articles and advice for young people.

“This platform will encourage young people to be pro-active about keeping safe online and hopefully encourage dialogue among peers,” said Ms Walsh.

Global head of safety outreach at Twitter, Patricia Cartes, said protecting users and creating a positive and trusted online environment was paramount to Twitter.

She said the hub, part of a set of wider initiatives being introduced worldwide, showed how a safer internet could be created with all of the interested parties working together.

“The resources that we are building together contain a wealth of information on how to save privacy settings; what to do if you feel uncomfortable about something that you see online and how to protect yourself,” said Ms Cartes.

She said Twitter and its partners wanted to create resources that were attractive to young people —using the type of language they would use to describe their feelings.

The CEO of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, Paul Gilligan, said no matter how much regulation and legislation was introduced, the only way to protect young people is to educate them on how to understand and manage their internet lives.

Those attending the launch, including the media, were asked to sign a confidentiality agreement to gain admission to Twitter’s headquarters.

spunout.ie/OnlineSafety

trendmicro.ie/whatsyourstory

Content available on SpunOut.ie's Online Safety Hub 

- Things to consider when using Snapchat

- How to best use online dating sites

- Revenge porn

- Things to think about before sexting

- The secret to a secure password

Tips for staying safe:

1. Keep passwords strong

2. Take screen grabs for evidence of being bullied or abused

3. Try not to react to posts online; don’t feed the trolls

4. Don’t be a bystander when you see bullying or abuse online — say something or report it

5. Check your privacy settings

6. Think before you type

To view more content visit: SpunOut.ie/OnlineSafety

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