Cybersafety

simi-simi

SimSimi is an artificial intelligence chatting robot also known as a chatbot.  Chatbots are computer programmes that simulate human conversations on the internet. With the development of artificial intelligence, chatbots are becoming more prominent and many tech firms are investing more in this particular type of technology.  The popular app encourages users to continue conversations by using playful language, however much of the language on the app is offensive content. SimSimi is also anonymous, making it easy for users to leave hurtful comments about others.

For concerned parents, we recommend talking to your child about the apps and social networks they use. Parents should familiarise themselves with the apps their children want to use before making a decision whether it is appropriate for their child to use. If your child is using the app, caution should be taken. Users should also ensure the bad words function is switched on to help minimise risk of encountering upsetting or offensive content.

What can I do if my child is being bullied online?

1. Don’t Reply: Young people should never reply to messages that harass or annoy them. The bully wants to know they have upset their target. If they get a response it feeds into the problem and makes things worse.
2. Keep the Messages: By keeping nasty messages your child will be able to produce a record of the bullying, the dates and the times. This will be useful for any subsequent school or Garda investigation.
3. Block the Sender: No one needs to put up with someone harassing them. Whether it’s mobile phones, social networking or chat rooms, children can block contacts through service providers.
4. Report Problems: Ensure your child reports any instances of cyber-bullying to websites or service providers. Sites like Facebook have reporting tools. By using these, your child will be passing important information to people who can help eradicate cyber-bullying.

Children need to understand the emotional damage cyber-bullying, and all other forms of bullying, can cause. All forms of bullying hurt, all cause pain and all should be stopped. By stressing this to your child – and by enforcing the importance of not standing by while someone else is being bullied – it will encourage their responsible internet use.

Get more advice on dealing with cyber-bullying here: Webwise-Advice on Bullying