Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, is encouraging parents to explore the internet and the digital world with their children, ahead of Safer Internet Day, which will be held this year on February 7th.
“The internet offers a world of potential for both children and their parents; it is a rich educational resource and it helps foster interest in a wide range of activities.
“The theme of this year’s Safer Internet Day is ‘Discover the Digital World Together…Safely!’ The global initiative promotes secure internet for all users, especially young people.
“Many parents may feel like they aren’t up to speed with their children’s computer and online know-how, but I would encourage everyone to explore the internet with their kids, to ensure they are getting the most out of web, without falling victim to online pitfalls and the dangers of inappropriate material.
“Parents should take a proactive approach. Encouraging your kids to be computer literate is essential as they make their way in life. And fostering an interest in technology should always be encouraged – children with a higher aptitude for computers and technology are more likely to pursue a career in these areas.
“Don’t be put off by the murkier aspects of the internet; just address them. Agree a framework for internet use at home, and chat to your children about what sites are ok. It’s also important to encourage your kids to be very careful about giving out any personal information.
“If we really want to build a knowledge-based economy with a strong basis in research and development, we should be doing all we can to help our kids explore the digital world from a young age. Surfing the web is also a great way to spend time – and learn – together.
“For more tips and advice, parents can log on to www.webwise.ie.”