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Online Child Exploitation

Cyber Bullying

What is it?

Cyber bullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person. Although more prevalent amongst young people, it can happen to anyone at any age. It is intended to inflict harm or discomfort to others.

Advice for Parents and Guardians

If you decide to give your child permission to use social media sites, the best online safety strategy is to talk with your child and engage with their use of the Internet.

  1. Know the sites your child visits, learn about the protections provided by these sites, apps and available on your child’s device.
  2. Teach your child that whatever information is posted or shared online, will stay online.
  3. Encourage your child to tell you if they receive messages that they feel disturbed by or uncomfortable with.
  4. Discuss ways the child can deal with disturbing material should they accidently come across it.
  5. Implement the parental controls available on all IOS and android devices
  6. If you find out your child is being bullied, print out and keep evidence of bullying and block the culprit. Then report the problem!

Reporting Cyber Bullying

  • Keep evidence, don’t delete anything.
  • Save the messages or take screenshots.
  • Stop all communication and block the person.
  • Tell An Garda Síochána.
  • Don’t delete the account as this evidence will help the Gardaí.

The Garda Online Child Exploitation Unit has these tips for young people

  • Cyber bullying destroys lives. Stop and think before you post, anyone may see, forward, or screenshot that post.
  • Only post messages you wouldn’t mind your parents or teachers seeing. Remember whatever you share online stays there.
  • Contact your parent, guardian, teacher or an adult you trust if you are being bullied online. Do not respond to the bully, report it!
  • Online manners matter. Always treat others how you want to be treated, with respect.

Contact An Garda Síochána

  • Call in person, or telephone your local Garda Station
  • In the event of an emergency dial 999/112.
  • Contact the Garda Child Sexual Abuse Helpline 1800 555 222.

It is best that you turn off the computer media (e.g., Smartphone, tablet or laptop) on which the problem communication took place and have it available for examination by the Garda Síochána.

Crimes of this nature that are reported to the Garda Síochána, will be fully investigated

Parents and children should be aware of the dangers involved and the Garda Síochána advise that explicit images should never be posted or shared online.  Any child who receives a request for naked or explicit photographs should not share any images. We ask them to tell their parents and immediately make contact with the Garda Síochána who will advise them regarding how the matter should be handled.

FAQs are available here