Social Media, Education, Cybersecurity

Social Media, Education

Many Irish kids spending over four hours online each day

Many Irish kids spending over four hours online each day

10/09/2019 08:40:00

Many Irish kids spending over four hours online each day

A charity has also highlighted that 43% are speaking to strangers online

Cybersafe Ireland, who conducted the survey, called on the government to introduce a strategy to teach kids to be careful online.And fears are mounting it was shown that a large amount of underage kids are using apps for which they aren’t old enough.The survey by the children’s internet safety charity found that 12% of eight-year-olds are spending over four hours online each day and this rises to 15% of 12-year-olds, equivalent to spending 61 days each year glued to a screen.

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The charity has also highlighted that 43% are speaking to strangers online, with a third of them speaking to strangers every day or at least once a week.CSI surveyed 3,867 children aged between eight and 13 in schools over the last school year and found that 92% owned their own smart device, meaning many have a direct route to online access.

Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor, said: “I’ve seen first-hand how beneficial technology can be in the field of learning, but it is not without risks.“As a Government we have been working hard on this issue and we are keen to hear the important contribution of CyberSafeIreland, and I will be endeavouring to ensure that the issues raised in their annual report get the attention they deserve from the various Government Departments involved.”

Overall, it showed that 60% of children were signed up to social media sites and this included 48% of eight-year-olds and 68% of 11-year-olds.This is despite the fact that popular social media apps like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook have a minimum age restriction of 13.

CSI’s new Head of Education & Innovation, Philip Arneill, added: “While technology undoubtedly brings social and educational benefits, it is vital that screen time is monitored and that it is balanced appropriately with all the other aspects that contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

“It is imperative that parents and teachers are able to equip children with all the relevant skills to keep themselves safe given the many risks that they face.”CyberSafeIreland’s Chief Executive Alex Cooney said: “We are urging the Government to establish a long-term strategy that includes strong and effective measures on education, public awareness and regulation.

“The online service providers benefit so much from their users, without having to take the full degree of responsibility that they should.“So much more needs to be done and given the number of kids who are active online, time is of the essence”How to follow the Irish Mirror on social media You can like our main Facebook page here.

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