CyberSmarties awarded endorsement from An Garda Síochána

8 Jan 2020241 Views

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Social network training platform CyberSmarties will now be working with the Garda National Protective Services Bureau to help combat cyberbullying.

Irish platform CyberSmarties has announced that it will now be working in conjunction with the Garda National Protective Services Bureau to help combat the dangers of cyberbullying and promote positive mental health among Irish primary school children.

CyberSmarties.com, which is a social network training platform for children, has also been awarded the An Garda Síochána Patent for Safety. The first endorsement of its kind, this patent aims to highlight the need for greater awareness and education when it comes to protecting primary school kids from the dangers and effects of online bullying.

More than 80,000 children have used the Irish-owned platform CyberSmarties since it was launched in January 2015. The purpose of the site is to introduce children between the ages of seven and 12 to the world of social media in a protected environment.

Prevention and coping mechanisms

The platform says that it uses unique emotional learning technology that protects children as they are sending messages and demonstrates why the content of some messages may upset others. CyberSmarties also aims to provide children with positive coping mechanisms to help them deal with fear, anxiety and stress as they are growing up.

The website uses positive reinforcement devices, health and fitness videos and information about meditation to provide children with resources to cope with stress. CyberSmarties claims that wellbeing technology has resulted in a 94pc reduction in inappropriate behaviour among children online.

‘We all want our children to grow up happy, be equipped with the skills to protect themselves online and behave in a positive way’
– DIARMUID HUDNER

A recent survey conducted by ZenithOptimedia found that one in five Irish children said they experienced bullying through social media. The survey suggested there are “alarming inconsistencies” between what is perceived by parents and the reality of the number of children experiencing harassment online.

Using social media in an ‘entirely positive way’

CyberSmarties has won international awards for safety and innovation and has twice co-hosted Anti-Bullying Week UK with the National Children’s Bureau UK. The platform is fully monitored and authenticates children using its social network.

Commenting on the Garda endorsement, CyberSmarties CEO Diarmuid Hudner said: “We have been working with the Garda National Protective Services Bureau for over two years now and we are incredibly grateful to have the support of such a dedicated and forward thinking group of professionals.

“Ultimately, we all want our children to grow up happy, be equipped with the skills to protect themselves online and behave in a positive way and, as importantly, learn essential life coping skills to help them deal with different forms of pressure.

“As adults we all know that we face a lot of challenges in our lives and CyberSmarties.com not only prevents cyberbullying, but instils in children, from the youngest age, how to deal with problems as they are growing up in a way that they understand.

“It is our intention that Irish children will use social media in an entirely positive way as they mature into teenagers and adults and what a great society we would have if cyberbullying was no longer a factor in so many people’s lives. The An Garda Síochána Patent for Safety is a testament to the safety features we have implemented to ensure children are kept safe online.”

Kelly Earley is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com