West Cork parent develops website to address children’s cyber safety

Posted on: 3rd November, 2014

Category: News

Contributor: West Cork People

Above: Left to right: Brendan Walsh, Gerardine Hayes (chairperson, Parents Association,) Michel Colaci, (parent and website developer) Ann Marie Brosnan.

A local parent and IT Specialist has developed a resource website of practical cyber safety tools from growing concern over his own children’s digital safety and from those voiced by parents of local school.

The immunizeNet website was launched last week at Sacred Heart Secondary School, Clonakilty during their Parent Information Evening, exactly a year ago from when this initiative commenced.

In collaboration with Michel Colaci, a parent and IT specialist who attended last year’s evening, a working group was established through the Parents Committee (with the support of the Principal, Ann Marie Brosnan, and Deputy-Principal, Brendan Walsh) to address parents’ concerns regarding their children’s internet and cyber safety. The findings from pilot workshops and a parent survey formed the basis of the immunizeNet ethos and website, which provides practical tools to implement up-to-date advice from easy-to-follow ‘step by step’ tutorials — all in one place. It is for the use of anyone who wishes to ensure the safety and well-being of children, digitally and online.

As Michel Colaci, founder and developer of immunizeNet explains, “There are lots of headline news stories and awareness initiatives advising parents of the potential risks children are exposed to when using the internet, social network sites and apps and they are urged to implement parental controls, filters etc and to ensure their child’s social media profiles are private and secure.

The parents we surveyed through the school initiative are aware, by and large, of the potential risks and of the above recommendations but many feel poorly equipped to implement meaningful, practical measures and are not often aware of what safety options are available to them with the various devices, software, social networks and apps their children are using.”

Four main areas of concern were:

1. The sheer variety of devices and ways that children use digital technology. 2. The frequency by which trends, apps and software change. 3. The diversity of potential risks that children are exposed to. 4. Time constraints on attending workshops and information often outdated within months.

immunizeNet has been designed on the basis of these needs, and in a unique way information is available for all the most popular devices, covering a great variety of potential risks, safety and even well-being concerns, all in one place. The entire website content is free, impartial and independent. Parents will also be updated about changes and new topics through the sites newsletter and via social media.

immunizeNet is easy to navigate and its layout has been especially designed to cater for any level of user experience — in a language and easy to follow ‘step by step’ format that doesn’t take forever to understand or implement.

Crucially, with the immunizeNet site, parents don’t have to commit to lengthy workshops or screen time but can dip in and out of learning at their convenience. The tutorials (mostly two to five minutes videos) and ‘how to’ guides can be viewed whenever it suits them, wherever they happen to be and from whatever device they are using. They can pause them, rewind or replay them — even share with others.

“Our goal was simple,” Michel concludes, “we wanted to provide parents with the practical tools to put them back in control of their children’s digital safety and wellbeing. With immunizeNet this can now be achieved.

From personal data and identity protection, content filtering and safety settings all the way to ‘screen-time’ controls and volume limits, immunizeNet is dedicated to helping parents with their child’s digital safety and well-being — and the next set of tutorials are already in production!”

View the website at: www.immunizeNet.com.

Latest News Articles:

Clonakilty Fairtrade Fortnight celebrates 15 years
€44 million to improve Cork roads
Clonakilty Access Group AGM hears of many frustrations and challenges for people with disabilities in the town
Schull student scoops top invention award at BT Young Scientist
Schull Garda Station wins ‘Leading Light in Road Safety’ award from Road Safety Authority
Go quackers at the 2018 West Cork Bird Race
Bandon in danger of losing its youth café
Local professionals invited to Anam Cara information pack launch
Bandon Transport and Public Realm Enhancement Plan shortlisted for Irish Planning Awards
Christmas on the beat

Join us on Facebook

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
... See MoreSee Less

20th February, 2018  ·  

Did you know..... ... See MoreSee Less

Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

Check out this new upbeat indie-folk track Edges, released today from Inni-K with a video by Myles O'Reilly. Inni-K will be performing at Levis’, Ballydehob on Saturday 24th February, with support from Sam Clague.

... See MoreSee Less

16th February, 2018  ·  

Vikings talk in Clonakilty!

“The Viking Gold and Silver Hoards from County Cork” is the topic of the next Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage lecture on Thursday 22nd at the Parish Centre starting at 8pm.

It will be delivered by John Sheehan, senior lecturer in the Archaeology Department, UCC and a former member of the Heritage Council and the Board of the National Museum of Ireland.

The Vikings were an important presence in Ireland for over two centuries. As well as inflicting great terror they were also responsible for introducing urbanism and new economic systems to the country.

In this talk the focus will be on the economy, looking at the gold and silver hoards that were buried in Co. Cork. It will also explore how these hoards were discovered, what happened to them, and where they are now!
... See MoreSee Less

15th February, 2018  ·  

Bandon Toastmasters is a club that helps people overcome Glossophobia, a fear of public speaking. The club is holding a night of inspirational and motivational speakers on February 22 that is a must for anybody wishing to overcome this phobia.
Tickets can be purchased either on the club's facebook page or through eventbrite.

... See MoreSee Less

13th February, 2018  ·  

Jump to: