The Central Statistics Office with their latest research, is just further proof of the negative impact that the Internet can have on a child’s life and others if it is not properly restricted.

A child who can access pornography as young as 9 years of age, is more likely to grow up watching adult material, become accustomed to a world without the real sense of consent and potentially committing a sexual related crime before turning 18.

The Facts

The CSO crime figures today, show who is most likely to commit crime, what crimes they are most likely to commit and who the victims are most likely to be.

CSO; “The statistics for the two years, 2019 and 2020, show that the vast majority (99%) of sexual offences are committed by males and that more than one-in-five (20.8%) of those is committed by a boy aged under 18.

One-fifth of all sexual offences have also been found to involve children as offender and victim.”

It is reported that over 500 girls under the age of 18 have reported a sex attack last year which represented roughly 44% of all the victims in 2020.

The CSO are aware that there may be an affect of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions which has led to an increase in domestic violence, however, we must not disguise the fact that material of all nature is so easily accessible for children of all ages. Regardless of the Pandemic Lockdown in recent times, the problem of not introducing a Parental Control to protect all children using the internet, still exists and has done for a long time.

You can see the full article of the latest crime statistics in recent years here; https://www.rte.ie/news/crime/2021/0426/1212117-crime-figures-cso/

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Trust

Parents around the world want more than anything to have trust in their children. And they should. There is no reason why there should be a break of trust in children up to their teenage years before they begin to discover adulthood.

But unfortunately, even the most innocent of children will at some point in their young lives, stumble across online material either through a video trend, accidental search engine results or through a friend.

The Internet is an excellent tool for information and education but when it is used correctly. Without restrictions, we are simply sending our children into an adult world and are completely unaware of how their minds are being shaped as a result of misuse of the Internet.

What Can We Do?

Education, communication and parental controls. These are the 3 key points to put in place once the Internet becomes a part of a family’s life.

Schools play a vital role in a child’s education. When it comes to the Internet, there are Company’s such as Cybersafe Kids who have the necessary skills & services to provide that education for both staff and pupils in schools

For Parents, it is all about that communication. Internet usage at home doesn’t mean a Parent can set that particular activity to automatic even if they have restrictions in place. Instead, use the internet as a tool of communication between parents and children. Explore, research, play games, educate and by doing this, you will have an open channel of communication with your child of the positive use of the Internet. You can be aware of the kind of material your child is accessing and you can make them aware of what signs to look out for if something potentially harmful should arise.

In conjunction with the above, Parental Controls are an absolute must have within a home and ‘On The Go’ mobile devices. There is a reason why adult films have an age rating, there is a reason why alcohol is not served to people under 18 and why we always advise our children not to speak with strangers. There is no difference with the internet. The outside world exists within your home and it has that access through your internet devices. This is why as Parents, we need to have those boundaries in place so we have the confidence that our children are protected while using the Internet and can turn this powerful tool into something positive, instead of leading them down a dark path.

With iKydz award-winning internet controls you can:
• Filter content
• Schedule online access
• Block unsuitable websites and apps
• Apply restrictions to YouTube
• Block or manage access to social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Snapchat
• Manage access to online games such as Fortnite, Roblox and Minecraft.

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