Last week the Gardaí came in to the class to talk to us about internet safety.

After they left we discussed how to be safe on the internet and talked a bit about cyber bullying. For homework Ms. McCarthy asked us to pretend to be the principal of Belgrove. Our task was to write a letter to parents making them aware of the dangers of the internet and highlight the issue of cyber bullying on social media. Here is the letter Caoimhe Egan wrote;

March 2014

Dear parents/guardians,

I am writing this letter to inform you about internet safety and how to help your child enjoy the internet, while being safe. Being aware of dangers is important. In my opinion the best way to keep children safe in the internet is, and always has been supervision. My motto is ‘a safe child is a happy child.’

I agree and am aware that the internet is of great use to many people, in many ways. I for one do use it, but I make sure I am not too dependent on it. I avoid using it for unnecessary reasons. I think children should have a schedule for internet. For example; half an hour a day, or only on weekends, a plan that would ensure children do not use the internet too much.

Unfortunately, with access to the internet comes great danger such as; stranger-danger, social media sites, dangerous pop-ups and access to inappropriate sites.

Social media

Social media such as; Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Viber etc. can be good for communicating with family and friends abroad, or even at home. However, they can also be unsafe as people can create fake profiles in attempt to become friends with your child. There is also the threat of cyber bullying. Bullies feel safer online because the victim is an easier target and they may feel they can’t be traced.

I am certain you do not want your child in danger or to get hurt on the internet so I will try to persuade you to be entirely aware of what sites your child is visiting online. I hope this letter has reminded you that while the internet can be a great educational tool, there are dangers we need to be aware of. Remember a safe child is a happy child.

Míle buíochas,

Caoimhe Egan