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McAfee, the world’s largest dedicated security company, today launched its Online Safety for Kids programme in Ireland. The kickoff event was held at 9:30 am (CET) at Government Buildings, Dublin, with the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and McAfee President Michael DeCesare. As part of the event, McAfee also released results from its ‘Digital Divide’ Study, an Irish study that looks at how teens are keeping their parents in the dark about what they’re doing online. The findings can be viewed at

Scoil Chaitriona National School, Dublin (Photo: Business Wire)

Scoil Chaitriona National School, Dublin (Photo: Business Wire)

According to the Digital Divide study, more than half of the Irish teens surveyed admitted to wiping their browser history to hide what they’re doing online from their parents. Alarmingly, 11 per cent of teens said they had actually met up with someone they met online. The survey demonstrates that many Irish teens are accessing inappropriate content online, despite being trusted by their parents to do what’s right when surfing the Web.

“I commend McAfee for launching this national online safety initiative, which will be of interest to many parents and young people,” said the Taoiseach. “The results of the Digital Divide survey will be a cause for concern among some parents but information and education are the way forward. Technology has enhanced all of our lives and continues to do so, and it is also a key building block in our country's economic recovery and the future of our children. However, their safety is all-important and raising awareness and skill levels through initiatives like the one being undertaken by McAfee are essential.”

“The children growing up in today’s fast changing world will power the most significant technological advances our world has ever seen,” said DeCesare. “There is a global need for cyber education to teach our youth about what it means to be responsible online. As the world’s largest dedicated security company, we are doing just that. Our goal is to expand our reach and to forge partnerships within our local communities. I’m honored to be here today with the Taoiseach to announce that McAfee is taking this programme to a national level.”

McAfee launched a pilot programme in Cork in January. To-date, 80 McAfee volunteers in Cork have taught at more than 30 schools and community centres, reaching more than 3,000 young people, parents and teachers. To take the programme to a national level, McAfee will leverage the power of Intel, Ireland’s largest employer, to join forces on volunteer efforts.

In 2014, McAfee will reach more than 10,000 kids in Ireland through the McAfee Online Safety for Kids programme. McAfee is also creating a youth ambassador programme that will leverage youth in their transition years to teach online safety for kids in local primary and secondary schools. This development will be piloted in Christian Brothers College Cork in conjunction with the Transition Year Teachers Professional Network.

John Kerr, TYTPN chairman says, “We are committed to encouraging the academic, social and emotional development of students through challenging and interesting programmes. As the use of technology is an integral part of our lives, it is vital that our students be equipped with the appropriate skills to navigate the online world safely and as such we are delighted to support this initiative.”

McAfee aims to leverage the youth in the non-formal education sector via its partnership with Foroige, Ireland’s leading and most successful youth organization. Seán Campbell, CEO Foróige says, “As an organisation that works with close to 60,000 young people across the country, we know how fundamentally important this initiative is. Foróige is committed to empowering young people to use technology to make the world a better place, but this can only happen if we fortify our young people with the knowledge and skills to navigate the online world safely.”

Over the next year, McAfee also plans to create materials that can be used by teacher organisations, the Department of Education and Skills and initial teacher education providers. The Company’s goal is to train the next generation of teachers in Ireland. This includes primary and secondary teacher education colleges, such as Mary Immaculate College, Limerick and University College Cork.

In 2009, McAfee began teaching school children to use their computers and digital devices safely with pilot programmes in the United States. To date, McAfee has reached more than 150,000 youth, parents and teachers around the globe with its cyber education volunteer program. The McAfee Online Safety for Kids Programme is a free school initiative that utilises McAfee and Intel employees, as well as McAfee partners and customers, who volunteer to train school-age children and parents on ways to stay safe and secure, as well as maintain good ethics in their online behavior.

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About McAfee

McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), empowers businesses, the public sector, and home users to safely experience the benefits of the Internet. The company delivers proactive and proven security solutions and services for systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world. With its Security Connected strategy, innovative approach to hardware-enhanced security, and unique Global Threat Intelligence network, McAfee is relentlessly focused on keeping its customers safe.

Note: McAfee is a trademark or registered trademark of McAfee, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others

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