What We Do

Ten years evolving

... learn what is important and focus on it

Having spent ten years interacting with young people/staff/parents in schools, we have a sense of the chasm between their perception of online safety and privacy, and what in fact can occur in digital space. Focussing on this chasm allows us to concentrate on important matters and not use valuable presentation time covering all the usual topics. We average 50 school visits per year addressing some or all students, and in that time have engaged well in excess of 250,000 students.

Teen Safe - schools education program

... where education meets evidence

Teen Safe is an evidence based workshop where people can understand their online visibility; appreciate and address any perceived vulnerability; and learn to build a profile that shows them in a positive light online. We bring Teen Safe to second level schools, Tusla facilities (staff and residents), youth organisations, commercial companies (through our partnership with Laya Healthcare), and parent support groups.

For up to date information about Teen Safe, view our EDUCATION page:

Digital Age Child Protection

... Workshops for professionals

We were tasked to provide a day of workshops for the Institute of Guidance Counsellors hosted at Griffith College, Cork. In this very specialised offering we show professionals how images of young people are misused online; young people sexualising themselves online; young people in school uniform being photographed and physically tracked in public transport and other places; imagery traded and commented upon online. We demonstrate that offenders can be found. We show examples of students self-destructing online and consequences in professional life. We include a module on building a profile and preparing for the future.

Incident Investigations

We have carried out investigations for private individuals, schools and businesses when various needs arise involving the internet, private networks and/or digital devices. Incidents include online abuse of students through cyber bullying, grooming and image abuse; harassment of staff through fake accounts, photographing staff without their knowledge and posting the images online; staff using inappropriate web sites or engaging in inappropriate activities online. Where appropriate we make contact with An Garda Siochana and individual web site and social media operators when the incident requires it.

Consulting

Whether through a formal meeting or a needy phone call from a school, business or individual, we have given instant advice to people in need. We are happy to consult on issues of which we have knowledge, and equally will refer an enquiry to another source if we are unable to assist. Ultimately, issues of child protection are matters for An Garda Siochana and TUSLA. However we do encounter occasions where an issue is initially not well understood, and with some investigation and clarification of what is involved, has been successfully re-presented to the appropriate authority.

Monitoring and Notification - wef 2019

An aspect of our research that has become valuable to clients is a notification service when their brand, uniforms, or other infrastructure is abused online. Where individual students are affected in (e.g.) image abuse, this has led to criminal investigations and/or civil legal action. The basis of detecting such abuse is ongoing monitoring of sites and accounts.

With effect from 2019, we will notify schools where their brand/uniform appears on sites that they might find offensive. If the school requires further data such as screenshots of offending pages, evidential records (hashed records and captures), or investigation of the site and/or user uploading such images then we will create a costed estimate and expected deliverables up front, with each incident costed on a case by case basis. This is because different incidents will have less or more data or complexity involved, and on some occasions more than one school can be affected by the same incident and therefore can share costs.

IRIS and DF Database Access

The DF Project began in 2012 and at its conclusion in 2014, the IRIS Project was conceived and initiated and it continues to the present day. These projects have accumulated over 20gb of investigative data tracking over 600 Irish persons of interest, and discovering thousands of images of Irish young people abused online, and used OSINT techniques to identify over 400 such victims. We are currently re-evaluating and reclassifying data and will be facilitating access to our data through our notification facility mentioned above.

Security Assessments and Remediation

There are many means whereby organisations handling data can be compromised through a lack of security awareness of digital devices, app's that run on them, and the networks through which they are connected. Much has been made of GDPR which formalises the rules governing how data is collected, stored, maintained over time and used. Data privacy is core to any business and in particular where information about young people is concerned.

Where that organisation has a web site then there is a responsibility to correctly manage and safeguard data being collected about visitors, and in particular where those visitors supply personal contact and/or other information through web forms etc.

Child Watch has its origins in online identity management, age verification, pen testing etc. - the IT Security sector. We understand the issues that matter to organisations regarding security and privacy and can make assessments, offer recommendation and undertake remediation when required.

Get in Touch with Us

Child Watch is a technical organisation specialising in the protection of children online. We do not have resources that support the medical or psychological well being of a child. Also we do NOT provide a frontline support service at this time.