Slider-avatars-with-phonesChildren’s digital footprints are being created before they even learn to walk. As parents and teachers we have the responsibility to teach our children how best to protect themselves online.

To truly master this we first must understand our children’s behaviors and attitudes online. Technology advances so quickly that online safety trends are constantly changing.

Powerstown ETNS have had pupil and parent workshops from Chatbudi Academy. Chatbudi also completed a trend report for us. Please see below summary of the recommendations for parents and the detailed trend report.

Chatbudi also publish a Digital Safety Guide for Parents that parents can sign up to receive here


  Internet Addiction

  • From the “Trend Report” research we can see that a large percentage of children are spending a lot of time on screens. This is an issue as too much screen time can lead to Internet Addiction. Research from a number of institutions, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest 1-2 hours max per day for children. Children who spend more than half their daily free time playing video games showed more negative adjustment. Anything over 2-3 hours per day reported higher levels of both externalizing and internalizing problems and lower levels of prosocial behaviour and life satisfaction. (‘Electronic Gaming and Psychosocial Adjustment’ – Dr Andrew K. Przybylski, Phd, study of 4899 kids)
  • Its important to sit down and talk to our children about the negative feelings they get from being online for too long. Explain to them that taking a break doesn’t mean that they wont be allowed back on, but its important to take a break to help stop those negative feelings from happening.

Signs of Internet Addiction

  • Becomes agitated or angry when interrupted online
  • Becomes irritable if not allowed access to the Internet
  • Loses track of time while online
  • Sacrifices needed hours of sleep to spend time online
  • Spends time online in place of homework or chores
  • Prefers to spend time online rather than with friends or family

What to do:

  • Talk to your child.
  • Ensure your child has  a chatbudi. A chatbudi is someone that your child trusts and will talk to about their online world.
  • Talk to you child about the 5:1 rule. They should have 5 hours of real world activity for every hour that they have in front of a screen. Talk to them about their other hobbies that they enjoy doing.
  • Talk to your child about the negative feelings they have if they are online for too long and how to recognise these feelings.
  • Encourage your child to take a break when they start to have these negative feelings, even if its just for a snack or a 5 min chat with you.


There has been a 87% increase in cyberbullying cases in 2013, half of these victims didn’t speak to anyone.

There are 3 main types of cyberbullies:


The Accidental Cyberbully

Likes or shares abusive content Participates without being aware


The Angry Cyberbully

Takes their anger out online, e.g. posting an embarrassing photo or a screen shot of a conversation online

Acting on emotions without considering consequences


The Real Cyberbully

Engages in antisocial behaviour online out of boredom, malice or entertainment

Kids can have stressful experiences of cyberbullying when it happens to them or someone they know. Also our research has shown they can get very stressed when they are involved in cyberbullying and don’t know how to remove themselves from it or make amends



 The SBT rule is similar in principal to the Safe cross code. It is a rule to help guide them when they come across digital threats.

  • The kids have to STOP if anyone contacts them that they don’t know, if they are cyberbullied or are involved in cyberbullying. They don’t reply they don’t write anything back, just stop.
  • They then BLOCK. Every Social Media App, Game or Website has a blocking feature if they don’t know what it is they can ask their Chatbudi, if they don’t they can contact the site administrator or if that fails they can contact us and we can try and help.
  • The last part is TELL. They need to tell their Chatbudi or someone they trust. Tell them the whole story so they can help.

Digital Stranger Danger

Real World Vs Virtual World

Children have a disconnection between real world and virtual world rules Children cannot see the danger attached to their digital activity

What to do :

Screen your child’s followers and friends on every social media and gaming site Set up ‘play dates’ for online games between your child and their real friends Explain the dangers of speaking to strangers online to your child


chatbudiOnline Gaming

There are benefits to online gaming, it can be educational, provides entertainment, is an adventure for kids, and can help develop their imagination.

The threats associated with it are: Internet addiction, exposure to inappropriate content And digital stranger danger.

We covered some information on Internet Addiction and Digital Stranger Danger above. Below are some guidelines on Inappropriate Content.

57% of children worry about coming across pornographic, violent or other unsuitable content (EU Kids Online (Feb 2013))


What constitutes ‘inappropriate content’?

  • Pornographic material/nudity
  • Offensive language
  • Alcohol and drugs
  • Inappropriate or harmful behaviour
  • Violence or cruelty to other people or animals
  • Gambling
  • Unmoderated chatrooms

What to do:

Safety settings will help but WILL NOT PREVENT IT

  • Empower your child to understand that they can talk to you
  • Have the conversation as awkward as it maybe its necessary
  • Agree on sites and apps
  • Be a Chatbudi
  • Give them specific steps to follow if they come across this content such as: Turn over the device and walk away to find someone to tell

Contact details

  • If you have any queries on the Trend Report or want to chat to Chatbudi about anything else. Please feel free to get in contact with us:


Follow Chatbudi on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn today

Email or call us on:


PETNS Trend Report

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Chatbudi Digital Safety Guide for parents

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*This report has been conducted by Chatbudi and commissioned by Powerstown ETNS



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