Financial Services Ireland


CyberSafeIreland launch latest report at EY

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  • 68% of 8 to 13 year olds own their own smartphone, while 70% use social media and messaging apps
  • 32% of children are talking to strangers online every week (18% every day)
  • 30% of children have rarely or never discussed online safety with parents
  • 13% of children are spending 4+ hours online including almost 20% of 12 year olds

Age restrictions of 13 on popular social media and messaging applications appear largely meaningless, with almost seven in 10 (68%) of 8 – 13-year-old children owning their own smartphones, and a similar number (70%) using social media and messaging apps. The findings are from the latest annual report from CyberSafeIreland, the Irish children’s online safety charity, published today at EY’s headquarters in Dublin. EY supported the charity as a funding partner in 2017-18.

EY's Hugh Callaghan and Cormac Kelly support the launch

The research also shows that 41% of eight and nine-year-olds are playing over-18s games, which as the report highlights can expose children to highly inappropriate and potentially damaging content.

CyberSafeIreland surveyed over 5,000 children, parents, and teachers who have attended its training sessions over the last academic year. The charity is concerned that there is not enough guidance and support out there for parents, teachers, social workers and others working in child-focused environments to address the variety of online risks that children are facing.

Alan Farrell, TD, launches CyberSafeIreland annual report.

Top tips suggested for parents include:

  • Start the conversation now! As soon as your child shows interest in your phone or tablet, talk about what’s okay and not okay to do online in an age appropriate manner. Talk to your kids about what they do and see online as often as possible.
  • Do your research. Check out the apps and games that your child is using or wants to use. Download it yourself or watch videos on YouTube about it and see what functionality it has. Look, in particular, at whether it has a chat facility, how to apply safety /privacy settings and how to report abuse.
  • Agree the rules. Put appropriate boundaries in place and apply them consistently, e.g. where they can use their devices, who can be on their friends lists, what behaviour is acceptable, and not to share location. Most importantly keep an eye on what your children are doing online.

You can download the report from the CyberSafeIreland site.


Top (banner image):  CyberSafeIreland CEO Alex Cooney speaks to journalists at the launch.

Second image: EY's Hugh Callaghan and Cormac Kelly support the event.

Final image:  Deputy Alan Farrell speaking at the event.

Thought Leaders

Cormac Kelly

International Banking Consulting Lead

Hugh Callaghan

FS Executive Director, Cyber