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21/09/2021

On Safer Internet, Mellon urges young people to stay safe online

Aileen Mellon
While the internet is something to be celebrated, it is important for young people to keep themselves safe online, Derry Sinn Féin’s education spokesperson Councillor Aileen Mellon has said. Speaking on Safer Internet Day (today) Cllr MellonShe said the online world had many positives, offering great educational and social benefits for children and young people, however the rapid development of the online world comes with increasing risks including cyber-bullying, online exploitation, spending too much time online and accessing harmful content. Cllr Mellon added: “These risks have contributed to tragic instances of mental illness and suicide, including the recent case of a 14-year-old girl in England who took her own life after viewing distressing self-harm images online. “Making the internet safer requires a three-pronged approach of education, empowerment and strategic intervention. “Internet and social media providers must step up to monitor and tackle harmful content online and give children the information they need growing up in a digital world. “I urge parents in Derry to speak with their children about the dangerous elements of the internet to empower children and young people to use the internet responsibly while keeping themselves safe. Cllr Mellon concluded: “I welcome the progress made to date on the e-safety strategy for the north. The e-safety strategy has been co-developed by a range of stakeholders to ensure it is fit for purpose. There is cross-party support for the strategy and I urge the publication of the strategy for consultation."

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