Press Release

Radio and public notice advertising campaign – Internet safety awareness

Brian Lenihan, T.D., Minister for Children, highlighted the need for parents to supervise Internet access by children. He said that this statement was timed to coincide with an extensive radio advertising and public notice campaign to raise awareness about Internet safety. This campaign is being run by the Internet Advisory Board with support from the Information Society Fund.

“At this time of the year, many parents will be purchasing computers with Internet access for their children. The Internet has enormous potential for enhancing the development of children and increasing their understanding of the world. However, parents should be aware that there is potentially harmful material on the Internet and I call on these parents to take a special interest in their children’s online activities. The regular reports we hear of child pornography on the Internet highlights the need for parents to be vigilant.”

The Minister went on to say that, while Government and service providers have an important role to play in relation to internet safety, parents have the primary responsibility for protecting their children when they use the Internet.

“Parents may sometimes be less computer literate than their children but this should not put parents off talking to their children and setting some basic rules such as the following;

  • keep the computer in a family room so that you, the parents, can keep an eye on its use;
  • show an active interest in how your children use the Internet and encourage them to show you anything that makes them feel uncomfortable
  • don’t let your child give personal information on the Internet without your permission;
  • do not provide your child with a credit card number;
  • never allow your child to have an unsupervised meeting with anyone they meet on-line”.

The Government established the Internet Advisory Board as a non statutory body in February 2000. The Board is representative of the relevant Government Departments, education and child protection interests, law enforcement and the Internet service provider industry. The function of the Internet Advisory Board is to assist and support the Irish Internet service provider industry to deliver an effective self-regulation environment while monitoring developments relating to illegal and harmful uses of the Internet (mainly child pornography) and to promote awareness of Internet downside issues. Child pornography should be reported to the industry hotline (www.hotline.ie) which provides a central point of contact for members of the public who become aware of child pornography on the Internet in Ireland. It also gives some useful advice on online safety.

For further information about the Internet Advisory Board and Internet safety you can log onto www.iab.ie