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Strandhill National School, Sligo

Internet Safety

Barnardos Guide for Safe Internet Use

1.       Webwise has tips to help parents guide teens in their social media use:

2.       Commonsense Media has a great section for parent concerns:

Parental Controls and Safety Settings

1.       Virgin Media Broadband has “one-click” parental controls. When you click these to activate controls on your account, access to websites is restricted.  This will protect any device connected to your home broadband, including Laptops, Tablets, PCs, Smart Phones and Games Consoles.   More information on this is available at:

2.       Smartphones and Computers – see:

3.       Tablets - Making your Tablet safe for toddlers:

Online Games

The Webwise site tells you all you need to know to make sure your child has a safe online gaming experience:

Apps Explained

The “Guide to Internet safety for Parents” website explains the most popular apps that young people use and steps parents can take to protect their child online: Commonsense Media has short videos on apps like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook to show parents what the app is and how children/teens use it.  You can find these near the bottom of the page, under the section on Facebook, Instagram and Social Studies: Information on privacy settings for a number of sites and applications can be found at:


What is it? It allows you to share images that disappear several seconds after they have been seen... What to be aware of:  Although the Image may disappear from the device, it still exists in the “cloud”.   Other users can also “Screengrab” (take a photo of) the image using the screenshot feature. What to do:It is important to talk to young people about the consequences of sharing or saving intimate images. It is illegal to create, possess or distribute explicit images of anyone under 17.  It is important that your child understands that, once an image is out there, they lose control over it.  It is very easy for someone to “Screengrab” and keep the picture, or pass it on to other people.  Switch off location settings – these are called “Geofilters” on Snapchat:

More Information on Snapchat The section for parents has advice on topics like “sexting”,  how to block or delete users and how to report abuse. settings information on privacy settings.


What is it? Meowchat allows you to message with friends and connect with new people.  Webwise describes it as a cross between “Whatsapp” (where users can send messages, images, audio or video) and “Tinder” (a dating app) What to be aware of:Meowchat makes it very easy to start chatting with strangers, to view unsuitable content or to speak with users over 18. What to do:It is very important to talk to your child about the dangers of sharing personal information online and that online profiles make it very easy for people to pretend to be someone they are not.   More information on Meowchat:


What is it?A social networking site that connects people online.
What to do: Opt out of photo tagging, face recognition, geo-location and location check-in by others.

More information on Facebook: Some links to safety features and tips from Facebook

YouTube Video on using Facebook privacy settings from 2015


What is it?Instagram is a photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that is designed for users to communicate using their mobile phone. What to be aware of:When using Instagram you should assume everyone can see everything you post. What to do:The Webwise website gives instructions on how to block a person, report a video or image and set up privacy settings:


What is it? Kik allows users to message and send images to other Kik users using their phone What to be aware of: Kik is different to other messaging apps because, when they log in Kik, users can connect to other internal apps, such as Match & Chat or Flirt.  These allow young people to connect with unknown users, who could be over 18. What to do: Webwise say that if your child is on Kik you should be cautious – see Webwise for more information on this:

Advice for Children

The Office for Internet Safety has a guide for children which you can look through with your child.  It is very important to talk with your child and show them how to stay safe online:

Advice for Teenagers

The Watchyourspace website has good content for teenagers, including how to deal with cyberbullying and what to do if someone shares an image without your permission:   Their “Forever” video is an excellent video on “sexting” and how, once an image is “out there”, you lose all control over it.  This video is suitable for teenagers, not younger children.