Cyberbullying and internet safety workshops were in high demand in Donegal last year.

The Donegal Youth Service have had a busy year conducting cyberbullying and internet safety workshops with parents and young people in 2016.

The service held 126 sessions in total throughout the county last year, with 4,500 young people, parents, and teachers engaged.

A spokesperson from DYS said that children and young people growing up in Ireland today are growing up in a very different world from their parents.  These new technologies have changed how we communicate, and have benefited humanity immeasurably, however the online “connected” world has many hidden dangers.  

“Internet safety and cyberbullying are an increasing concern for the young people and parents of Donegal.” stated Gareth Gibson, Youth Information Manager. “With new apps and websites springing up all the time it is more important than ever that young people are empowered with the knowledge to navigate the online world safely, and to deal with these issues appropriately.” he added.

Since September 2012 Donegal Youth Service have reached over 22,000 people through 500 cyberbullying and internet safety workshops, and they hope to reach many more over the coming years. Their aim is to encourage young people to improve their empathy and to develop “positive online behaviours” and become more aware of risk taking behaviour and associated dangers.

Donegal Youth Service has a team of experienced staff who facilitate a mixture of age appropriate workshops and seminars to children, young people, parents and teachers. These sessions are available at both primary and secondary level as well as to other education providers and community groups.

Cyberbullying and Internet Safety – Top 10 Tips

  • Think Before You Post – Respect others
  • Be Responsible Online
  • Keep a Record –including times and dates
  • Tell Someone – talk to someone you trust: a parent, teacher, friend or youth worker
  • Contact your Service Provider and REPORT what’s happening
  • Get in touch with Support Services
  • Don’t Reply to the bullying messages
  • Change your Contact Details
  • Keep your Username and Password Secret
  • Set up Privacy Settings

For more information, or to book a workshop please contact Youth Information Manager Gareth Gibson on 074 91 29630.  If you are a young person affected by any of these issues you can also call, or drop into us for a chat at 16-18 Port Rd, Letterkenny.