Internet alert - Online safety

THE dangers that can arise if children are given unbridled access to go online may be well known, but the risk of 10-year-olds unwittingly engaging in cyber-bullying is not so apparent.

That an alert has now been raised by a community garda is not surprising, in view of how involved members of the force have become in community activities.

A hazard facing every child has been identified by Ennistymon-based Garda Deirdre Scanlon. Experienced in delivering cyberbullying talks to primary and secondary school pupils in Co Clare, she knows what she’s talking about.

According to Garda Scanlon, young children and teenagers who put comments about their friends online have no idea the words are on the internet for ever.

Similarly, she warns that children of 11 and 12 are at risk because someone befriended online, for instance on Facebook, could turn out to be a sex predator.

This is the kind of vital but simple information which even parents who know little about technology can easily pass on to make their children a little less vulnerable in today’s hazardous world.

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