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How Can I Keep My Kids Safe Online?

On Safer Internet Day 2024, SIRO’s CTO, Suzanne Tracy's guide serves as a timely resource for parents to proactively educate and empower their children, ensuring a safer and more enjoyable online experience.  Recent data highlights that 95% of Irish children aged 8-12 own their own smart device. This research, conducted by the charity CyberSafeKids, also notes how 87% of children have their own social media account.  Using devices and tapping into the wealth of resources which access to online platforms can provide can be hugely positive for kids. Helping with their schoolwork, staying connected to friends, entertainment and recreational tools are all the positives that technology brings.  However, as much as we want children to be able to avail of the opportunities for learning and enjoyment that technology can deliver, parents, educators and society also have a responsibility to help them stay safe online.  Studies by SafeWise show that more than 58% of parents say their child’s internet behaviours are a cause of concern for them.  Naturally, parents have concerns. Rather than be an anxious but passive parent, a quick crash course in some basic and easy to implement tools, can be effective in keeping our kids safer online. 

Passwords 

Having a secure password is key for protecting your child’s information and accounts. Implementing a two-factor authentication, whereby users must first input their username and password, and subsequently enter a passcode they receive via text or email is just one of the ways you can create a barrier to hackers and threats.  Many of the commonly used social media platforms including Instagram and Facebook, now allow the option to create a two-factor authentication.  Another way of reducing the risk of someone gaining access to your account is by creating both a memorable and complex password.  Some things to consider when creating passwords would be to make sure you choose something with both uppercase and lowercase letters, containing both symbols and numbers too if possible. Ideally, passwords should also be changed frequently, and should be different across social media accounts. 

Managing access 

Setting some ground rules on internet use and informing them of which sites are suitable to use can help children be more actively aware of their online behaviours.  An approach you could also take would be to limit access to certain websites by using blockers. This way, they can be prevented from clicking onto any sites which might not be age appropriate or safe.  In the UK, a Pew Research Centre survey noted that 39% of parents report using parental controls for blocking, filtering, or monitoring their teen’s online activities.  Another way of limiting access is having an agreement on how long your child can use their smart device for a day or how long they can spend on a certain social network. Apple for instance has a setting which means you can set limits on the amount of time you are allowed to spend on certain apps in a day.  Data from the Pew Research Centre also found that just over half of the parents surveyed restrict the amount of time or number of times their child goes online in a day. 

Social Media 

Most kids and teens have at least one social media platform installed onto their smart device. UK stats show that 48% of kids (aged 4-18) use TikTok, followed by 41% using Facebook, and 28% using Snapchat.  Before your kids start using any social media platform, it is important to give them basic watchouts to keep them safe on these platforms such as: 
  • Not to accept friend requests from strangers. 
  • To disable precise location settings 
  • To not share personal information online 
  • To communicate to an adult any problems or issue they experience online 
While the idea of kids navigating social media and the internet might fill every parent with dread, sticking your head in the sand is not an option. This Safer Internet Day, let's collectively commit to educating our kids, arming them against potential risks, and implementing measures to ensure a safer online environment for both parents and children.  For more information on Safer Internet Day 2024 and online safety tips, and resources visit https://www.saferinternetday.org/home  To find out if SIRO’s 100% fibre broadband is available to your home, search your Eircode today [lookup_modal type="eircode" button-text="Search Your Eircode" position="mid" title="Input your Eircode to check whether SIRO is available at your location"]
SIRO, Ireland's leading provider of 100% fibre broadband, has announced the expansion of its network to Tramore. Construction works in the town to facilitate SIRO’s network build have already commenced and will continue during the first half of 2024. SIRO’s fibre network will be available to over 4,000 premises in the town upon completion of the build. The announcement was made as part of a presentation by senior SIRO representatives to the monthly meeting of Waterford City and County Council on Thursday. Tramore will join Waterford city and Dungarvan as SIRO-enabled full fibre broadband towns. SIRO first rolled out its network to Waterford city in 2019 with over 12,000 premises in the city which can now connect to its network. [caption id="attachment_9045" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] 11/01/2024 The Mayor of Waterford City & County, Cllr.Joe Conway pictured on Tramore Beach, Co.Waterford with from left, Liam Rafter, SIRO Site Agent, Denis Cambridge, SIRO Build Director, Amanda Glancy, SIRO Director, Corporate Affairs, Jack Doyle, Broadband Officer, Waterford City & County Council and Damien Murray, SIRO Head of Strategic Projects.Picture:Noel Browne[/caption] Similarly, its build in Dungarvan will complete early this year, with almost 3,200 premises fibre enabled, with the majority of Dungarvan premises already live on the SIRO network. The network expansion to Tramore, will see over 19,000 premises and over 52,000 County Waterford residents passed by the SIRO network. Areas in Tramore which will benefit from the rollout include: Moonvoy Valley, Glenroad, Mountfield, Strandhill, Somerville, Meadowbrook, Ard Haven, Main & St. Patrick St, Priest’s Rd, Westbrook, Newtown, Carrigealea. The first homes in Tramore will be able to order the new broadband services from April 2024, with the remainder coming on stream over the following months. The rollout of a full fibre broadband network in Tramore is part of SIRO’s ongoing network growth. SIRO is targeting more than 700,000 premises in towns and cities across Ireland by 2026. To date, almost 550,000 premises in 135 towns across the country can access the SIRO network. Overall, SIRO is investing more than €1 billion in delivering high speed, future proofed broadband across Ireland. [caption id="attachment_9046" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] 11/01/2024 The Mayor of Waterford City & County, Cllr.Joe Conway pictured on Tramore Beach, Co.Waterford with from left, Amanda Glancy, SIRO Director, Corporate Affairs, Denis Cambridge, SIRO Build Director and Jack Doyle, Broadband Officer, Waterford City & County Council. .Picture:Noel Browne[/caption] SIRO Chief Executive Officer, John Keaney, commented,
"SIRO's expansion in Tramore is part of our ongoing objective to provide accessible and future proofed fibre broadband services to communities across Ireland. “Reliable connectivity is now a critical infrastructure for all communities and towns, like Tramore. Having this service for your home or business fosters economic development, drives job creation and underpins thriving and sustainable communities", added Mr. Keaney.
Michael Walsh, Waterford City and County Council Chief Executive, stated:
“The expansion of SIRO’s Full Fibre broadband network is welcome news for the County. We believe that, by promoting the digital agenda through a dynamic workforce and enhanced infrastructure, we can secure sustainable economic growth and prosperity into the future. “Establishing a secure and universal digital connectivity is crucial for unlocking economic, social, and environmental potential. This encompasses facilitating increased remote work, creating job prospects, accessing new markets for businesses, enhancing the efficiency and accessibility of public services, and fostering more adaptable work environments. “Additionally, digital technologies can significantly contribute to the revitalisation of our towns and villages. Furthermore, they can play a vital role in decreasing energy and resource consumption and supporting the process of decarbonisation.”
To find out if SIRO is available to your home/business search your Eircode or register your interest here where you will be automatically notified when SIRO is available at your premise. [mailchimp_modal button-text="Register Your Interest" title="Sign Up Form" position="mid"]
SIRO Ireland · Dublin 100k Announcement Newstalk
This week, we are happy to announce that our services are now available to 50,000 homes and businesses in Dublin City, and to 100,000 premises overall across the wider Dublin area. The €100 million rollout is part of a strategy to make services powered by SIRO available to areas underserved by fibre to the home broadband. The expansion in the capital follows close collaboration with Dublin City Council’s Telecoms Unit and with the broadband officers in the other three Dublin local authorities to advance its Dublin network roll-out. Within Dublin City Council’s borders this includes ‘new’ SIRO areas such as Dublin’s Docklands, East Wall, Walkinstown, Kimmage and Crumlin. Our network is already well established in other parts of the city such as Fairview, Raheny, Finglas, Artane or Coolock. This is in addition to our expanded network footprint across the four Dublin local authority areas, which now encompasses more than 30 suburban towns from Balbriggan in Fingal as far south as Shankill in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown. SIRO plans to continue to build across Dublin city and county where other commercial opportunities exist. Lord Mayor of Dublin, Daithí de Róiste noted:
“This is a really positive investment for Dublin, and I am delighted that the City Council have been able to support SIRO in the delivery of this essential digital infrastructure particularly in areas such as East Wall, Docklands. Kimmage and Crumlin. We need to ensure that all of our communities have access to high quality broadband services and are not left behind as the adoption of new technologies and digital services continue to accelerate.”
SIRO John Keaney Chief Executive Officer, noted:
"The presumption that our cities already enjoy universal full fibre connectivity can be inaccurate. Poor broadband can exist in areas of our cities and its suburbs, just as much as it can be found in more remote areas. Yet, future-proofed and reliable fibre connectivity is key to the economic life of our capital city and in all the communities which make up its constituent parts. “SIRO is rolling out our network across Dublin, city and county, because a real need exists to address existing connectivity blackspots. By now reaching areas underserved by fibre to the home broadband, such as the Docklands, East Wall or Crumlin and Walkinstown, we are striving to ensure these areas have the broadband infrastructure essential for the future wider social and economic development of the city,” added Mr. Keaney.
Smart City Program Manager at Dublin City Council, Jamie Cudden stated:
“Investments like this from SIRO support our ambition to future-proof Dublin ensuring that we can take advantage of new and emerging technology trends. When we established our Telecoms Unit in 2022, we committed to work with the telecoms sector to help streamline and accelerate network rollout through better co-ordination and collaboration. The real winners here are communities across Dublin who will have access to world class digital infrastructure and choice of providers.”
SIRO is a joint venture between ESB and Vodafone, formed in 2015, to roll out a new full fibre broadband network across Ireland. To date, SIRO has rolled out network to every county in Ireland with its broadband network in over 135 towns and cities and available to almost 550,000 homes and businesses nationwide. The company is on track to reach 700,000 premises by 2026. To check if your home or business is SIRO enabled, search your Eircode here [lookup_modal type="eircode" button-text="Search Your Eircode" position="mid" title="Input your Eircode to check whether SIRO is available at your location"]
The holiday season is a time for spreading joy, sharing gifts, and embracing the spirit of giving. As we are all on the lookout for the ideal gifts, it's important to recognise the influence of our decisions and the invaluable support we can extend to local businesses. In Ireland, the sentiment to buy local is strong, with 62% of shoppers keen on purchasing gifts from Irish businesses. Furthermore, nearly seven in 10 individuals are committed to sourcing Irish food for their festive feasts. The variety of offerings from Irish artisans and entrepreneurs is significant. From crafted jewellery and traditional knitwear to delectable artisanal foods and unique handcrafted goods, the diversity is impressive and diverse. These businesses are often steeped in passion, tradition, and innovation, reflecting the vibrant culture of Ireland. Choosing to support Irish businesses contributes not just to the economy but also to the preservation of local artistry, sustainability, and the livelihoods of fellow community members. Here's why it's worth considering and how you can make a difference this festive season. Unveiling Unique Treasures Irish businesses often specialise in creating unique, one-of-a-kind products. Each piece - be it a hand-knit Aran sweater, delicately designed Celtic jewellery, or artisanal chocolates made from family recipes – has an individuality that sets them apart from mass-produced items. They carry stories, histories, and demonstrate the dedication and talent of local creators. Nurturing Local Economy Supporting local businesses is akin to investing in the local community. 1,093,747 people were employed in SMEs in 2020, which was over two-thirds of the total Irish workforce. Many of whom are currently employed in businesses working in the craft, food or hospitality sectors. When you purchase from an Irish business, you directly contribute to the livelihoods of your neighbours, friends, and families. This sustains local employment, boosts economic growth, and helps in the preservation of cultural heritage and traditions. Fostering Sustainability Many Irish businesses take pride in their sustainable practices. Whether it's sourcing materials locally, using eco-friendly packaging, or implementing ethical production methods, these businesses often prioritise sustainability. By supporting them, you indirectly contribute to a more environmentally conscious economy, whilst avoiding the negative aspects related to products transported into Ireland from far flung destinations. How to Support Irish Businesses Online In an increasingly digital world, online shopping presents a vast landscape of options. Here are some ways to prioritise Irish businesses in your holiday shopping:
  1. Explore Irish Marketplaces: Platforms like "Guaranteed Irish Gifts” and "Irish Design Shop" are dedicated to promoting Irish products. They serve as hubs for a variety of locally crafted goods, making it easier to find unique gifts. SIRO is a proud member of the Guaranteed Irish network of businesses based in Ireland that support sustainable jobs, and make positive contributions to local communities.
  2. Social Media and Direct Websites: Many Irish businesses showcase their products on social media platforms or have their dedicated websites. Follow and engage with these businesses directly to stay updated on their offerings and promotions.
  3. Local Business Directories: Utilise local business directories to find Irish shops, boutiques, and craftspeople. These directories offer comprehensive lists of businesses within specific regions, making it easier to discover hidden gems in your vicinity.
  4. Gift Irish Experiences: Consider gifting experiences from local businesses, such as cooking classes, brewery tours, or vouchers for local restaurants. These unique experiences contribute to the local economy and create lasting memories.
By supporting Irish businesses, we can enhance this joy, making a significant impact on our local communities and preserving Ireland's rich cultural heritage. Let's make a difference and celebrate the season by spreading the love for local businesses. If you are buying your Christmas gifts online, make sure you enjoy a seamless shopping experience with SIRO 100% fibre broadband. To see if SIRO is available to you, search your Eircode today [lookup_modal type="eircode" button-text="Search Your Eircode" position="mid" title="Input your Eircode to check whether SIRO is available at your location"]
SIRO, a leading broadband operator, has today announced that it is expanding its full fibre broadband network to Celbridge and Leixlip. Build is now underway in both towns, with the network expected to go live, on a rolling basis, at the end of this year and into 2024. With this latest expansion in County Kildare, SIRO’s network will now be available in 13 towns across the county. These towns include Athy, Clane, Johnstown, Kilcock, Kildare town, Maynooth, Monasterevin, Naas, Newbridge, Prosperous, Sallins, and now Celbridge and Leixlip. The announcement was made as part of a presentation by senior SIRO representatives to the monthly meeting of Kildare County Council this week. In Celbridge, SIRO’s rollout is targeting a total of 2,200 premises, with the majority (2,000 premises) of these now built and already able to connect to SIRO’s network and the remainder joining the network in 2024. SIRO’s network in Leixlip is expected to go live the first half of 2024. SIRO has been rolling out its network across Ireland and County Kildare since 2016. Over that period SIRO's total investment in County Kildare has reached €40 million, with 40,000 premises or 110,000 people who can now access its network. The roll-out of a full fibre broadband network in Celbridge and Leixlip is part of SIRO’s ongoing network growth. SIRO is targeting more than 700,000 premises in towns and cities across Ireland by 2026. To date, over 540,000 premises in 135 towns across the country can access the SIRO network. Overall, SIRO is investing more than €1 billion in delivering high speed, future proofed broadband across Ireland. Commenting on the announcement, SIRO Chief Executive Officer, John Keaney, said:
"Today SIRO is announcing the expansion of our broadband services to Celbridge and Leixlip – the 12th and 13th towns in the county to have access to our full fibre broadband network. “SIRO’s network now has a significant footprint in the county. Demand for SIRO’s network across Kildare, provided through our retail partners such as Virgin Media, Vodafone and Sky, has been consistently strong, and we expect to see a similar demand in our newest Kildare towns. “Since our foundation, SIRO has been committed to connecting communities with high-speed, high-quality, and dependable broadband. Our track record of delivery in Kildare speaks to our ongoing commitment to the county. “Access to reliable and future proofed connectivity is essential for all communities to live more sustainably and in ways that meet their needs, but also for businesses and enterprise to thrive across Kildare”, added Mr. Keaney.
To find out if SIRO is available at your home, search your Eircode here. [lookup_modal type="eircode" button-text="Search Your Eircode" position="mid" title="Input your Eircode to check whether SIRO is available at your location"]
ChatGPT, launched back in November 2022, has taken the world by storm. A recent article by RTE noted that by April of this year there were 173 million users of ChatGPT globally. This number can only be expected to grow, as more and more people begin to use this tool. ChatGPT is an AI (Artificial Intelligence) Chatbot, which can both comprehend and form human-like answers when asked a question by a user. This kind of technology is designed to help you with any questions you may have – on any topic, within an almost instantaneous timeframe. Like a google search, but one that you can chat back and forth with. As with any technology there are multiple benefits and some limitations to using ChatGPT. Although these limitations may reduce overtime. Below we look at some of the most beneficial ways in which individuals can use ChatGPT and are the watchouts that are good to bear in mind.

User Benefits:

Generating Creative Ideas

The great thing about ChatGPT is that it can help you with creative generating ideas it’s proving difficult for you to generate them. For instance, if you had writers block and were looking to make a start on a blog for your company website – you can get some inspiration from using this tool. You could ask the chatbot "List X number of ideas for blogs about Y.” You can assess the results and go from there.

Making recommendations

Another example could be if you’re due to host movie night for friends/family and need some recommendations on what to watch to watch and where, you could ask the chatbot “What are some of the best movies on Netflix Ireland right now?”, or “What are the best streaming platforms to watch X movie on?”.  Movie night is saved at a touch of a button!

Improving your existing content

Looking to update your CV or draft a strong cover letter? ChatGPT can help you tailor your CV according to the job you are applying for, maximising your chances of getting that job you’ve always wanted. You could ask something like “Generate 5 bullet points which demonstrate my ability to do X skill”. Further, it can assist with drafting a cover letter for the job you are applying for, tailoring it to the job description and requirements. Overall, this is a beneficial tool for jobseekers, as it saves you a lot of time and energy.

Help with Homework

Not by doing your homework, but by explaining concepts and ideas to you in individualised way that matches your learning style. Think of scenario where what’s written in your textbook just doesn’t make sense to you. You can ask ChatGPT to explain the same concept to you and then continue to interact with it by asking follow on questions which makes it much clearer and easier to understand.

The Limitations:

Unable to distinguish between fact and fiction:

ChatGPT’s information is gathered from data from the internet. The limitation with this is that the information provided isn’t 100% guaranteed to be always accurate and factually correct. The information could be unreliable, based on opinion vs. fact and could also show an element of bias. For students, this is something to keep in mind. It’s important to fact check the information given or cross check with another source, before deciding to use it.

Inability to understand context:

Unfortunately, ChatGPT gathers answers to a question asked, but it is unable to comprehend other information which would come before/after this, to develop a proper discussion. If humour or sarcasm are used, ChatGPT would struggle to comprehend this. So, it’s recommended to bear this in mind when dealing with the Chatbot.

Issues with generating long-form content:

This tool may have issues in forming any long-form content, and typically instead it works better for gathering smaller pieces of information. The programme finds it difficult to produce a long-form piece that has a clear structure and flow, and therefore it wouldn’t be fit for producing quality sample essays or reports to use in school, college or work. You’re better off drafting the essay or report yourself, just taking nuggets of information from the Chatbot if you need. Also, you need to bear in mind that that if ChatGPT attributes a statement or piece of research, you still need to attribute that person or research to avoid falling foul of plagiarism. AI tools are only beginning to embed into human experience and practical application, so it’s   always best to proceed with caution and use your best judgement to decide when it is and is not appropriate to use ChatGPT. To be able to experience the full effects of this AI tool, having a high-speed broadband connection is essential. This will enable you to receive quick results from the Chatbot and make the experience seamless and fit for purpose. For more information on ChatGPT visit - openai.com. To find out if SIRO’s 100% fibre broadband is available to your home, search your Eircode today [lookup_modal type="eircode" button-text="Search Your Eircode" position="mid" title="Input your Eircode to check whether SIRO is available at your location"]
Today we are happy to announce that build works are underway for homes and businesses in Youghal to bring full fibre broadband to the town later this year. Our fibre broadband will bring reliable, high-speed connectivity to over 3,000 homes and businesses in Youghal. The build works in the area, carried out on behalf of SIRO by build contractor CBE, commenced during the summer, with the works set to complete early next year. Areas in Youghal which will benefit from the roll out include (but are not limited to): Radharc na Mara, Kilcoran Place, Upper Strand Road, Meadowvalley, Chestnut Drive, Shanavine, Seafield, Rectory Road, Carleton Village, Bay View Grove, The Estuary, Cnoc Aoibhinn and Quarry Vale. Homes and businesses in Youghal will be able to order SIRO from one of its many retailer partners, including Virgin Media, Vodafone, Sky, Digiweb, Pure Telecom, Blacknight Solutions and Fastcom. The build works in Youghal are being undertaken by contractor, CBE, on behalf of SIRO. Portuguese-founded CBE now employs a significant local workforce in Cork. CBE have successfully partnered with SIRO, since 2017, on its full fibre broadband network rollout across Ireland. This work includes over 100,000 premises with 44,000 in Cork alone. Towns that can already avail of SIRO in Cork include Ballincollig, Carrigaline, Carrigtwohill, Cork City, Little Island, Mallow, Midleton, Passage West and Skibbereen. We are currently rolling out to a number of further Cork County towns which are already under construction or due to commence later this year such as Bandon, Fermoy and Kinsale. [caption id="attachment_8666" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]John Keaney, CEO of SIRO, Minister Simon Coveney and Carlos Barroqueiro, CEO of CBE John Keaney, CEO of SIRO, Minister Simon Coveney and Carlos Barroqueiro, CEO of CBE[/caption] SIRO is a joint venture between ESB and Vodafone delivering full fibre broadband to towns and cities across Ireland. The company’s network uses the existing ESB electricity network to bring connectivity to the hearth of homes and businesses. To date, SIRO’s fibre broadband network is available to over 520,000 premises in more than 135 towns across Ireland, including over 60,000 premises across Cork city and county. The company is on track to deliver full fibre broadband to over 700,000 premises by 2026. Our full fibre network can provide speeds of up to 2 Gigabits per second for residential customers and up to 10 Gigabits per second for business and enterprise customers. Launching SIRO’s Youghal network, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney TD, noted that:
The rollout will have a transformative effect on Youghal as Fibre-to-the-Building is recognised as the gold standard for broadband internationally. As a result, this will give Youghal businesses a head start against their peers both at home and internationally, as well as giving homes access to the latest innovative digital services. This substantial investment by SIRO is another sign of how Government has encouraged investment by the private sector to boost our broadband capability.”
Commenting on the announcement, SIRO CEO John Keaney said:
“Fast and resilient connectivity is the cornerstone of how we all now live and work. “Having a full fibre network outside your door, gives the community of Youghal - homes and businesses - a resource that enables and empowers their community to live sustainably, thrive economically and attract investment into the town. “The arrival of SIRO’s fibre broadband to Youghal will hugely benefit the local community ensuring they have a connection which is reliable, high-speed and future-proofed. “We are pleased with the progress made so far on building out our network in Youghal, with our contract partner CBE, and looking forward to our service becoming available to order by the end of this year,” added Mr. Keaney.
For further information on CBE’s work, please visit their website http://www.cbe.pt/ To connect to SIRO’s broadband network register your interest here. [mailchimp_modal button-text="Register Your Interest" title="Sign Up Form" position="mid"]
5 Simple Ways You Can Improve Your Personal Cybersecurity  Being online has become an essential part of our everyday lives - messaging friends, working remotely, shopping online, streaming movies.  Whilst we understand the importance of having a presence online, we also need to be very conscious of the risks that come with being online.   October marks cybersecurity awareness month, and below are a few simple steps you can take to maximise your personal cybersecurity from wherever you are.  

1. Use a few different strong passwords

It’s important to create varying passwords for each of your online accounts (from your social media accounts such as X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram, your personal/work emails, to your favourite streaming platforms like Netflix  If you are guilty of only using the same one password across the board, you may want to rethink this. The danger with using the one password for everything is that if a hacker figures out the password to one of your accounts, they then will have access to all of your accounts. When this happens, they can see your private information, can message people pretending to be you, and they can even change your password so you can’t access your own account anymore.    To overcome this risk, create multiple different passwords (i.e., a different one for each account if you can), and to try make these passwords tricky and unique. Your passwords should contain a combination of special characters, upper and lowercase characters, and numbers to make them stronger.  

2. Implement two-factor authentication

To create that extra layer of security against hackers, it’s recommended to create a two-factor, or even multi-factor authentication. This is where, in addition to logging into your account (with the usual username and password), a code is then also sent to your email/phone for instance, to verify that the person logging into the account is really you.   Although this extra step might seem like a bit of a pain, it’s worth it for that added sense of reassurance in knowing that your accounts and information is a lot safer.  A lot of companies now allow you to create a two-factor authentication, such as Google, Instagram and Facebook for instance.  5 Simple Ways You Can Improve Your Personal Cybersecurity 

3. Keep your devices up to date

We’ve all received the notifications which pop up on our screens, asking us to install the latest updates on our device. These notifications can be easy to ignore, but it’s wise to pay attention to these and to get updates installed as soon as possible. The upgrades that become available are there to protect your device and make it more difficult for cyber-attacks to happen to you, so why wouldn’t you want to update asap?  An easy way of getting the latest updates installed, without you having to lift a finger, would be go into the settings of your device and click the setting which allows automatic updates to occur.   In terms of what software’s to have installed, first and foremost it’s a good idea to have your device’s firewall switched on. On top of this, getting an antivirus software installed is key, as it works to block malicious viruses and hackers to gaining access to your information and data. McAfee or Nortons are popular choices of antivirus software’s you could choose from.  

4. Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)

Have you ever been out and about and decided to use the free Wi-Fi in a shopping centre/café? You might want to think twice before doing that again. Whenever you connect to a Wi-Fi network that you aren’t familiar with, you are at risk of a security breach. For instance, someone else using the same public network as you may be able to view your data and take your personal information for their benefit.   This is why it’s advised to get a VPN (virtual private network) instead, to make sure you always have a secure network accessible to you. Many companies today ensure their employees are connected to their VPN to protect from cyber-attacks, so why not protect yourself too when at home or out and about?  

5. Think before you click

You may have heard of the term ‘phishing’ before, but if you haven’t, it’s one to get familiar with. Phishing involves a scammer posing as a legitimate company with the aims of obtaining data from an individual. Nowadays, phishing attempts have become more sophisticated than ever, making them much easier to fall for.   Here are a few things to look out for when trying to identify whether a text/email could be a scam: 
  • The email address: is the email address unusual looking? Have you received emails from this individual before?  
  • The phone number: is this number one you recognise? Is it the same as the company’s official phone number? 
  • Is there a link included?: Never click on a link included in a text message/email without verifying from the company that it is legitimately sent by them. 
  • What is the email/message saying?: Typically, scammers will send a message that seems urgent, which could say that there has been fraudulent activity/suspicious activity related to your account.  
If in doubt, always double check. For instance, if you receive an unusual text from your bank, visit your local branch or call their official phone number to discuss the email with them. They can help to confirm or deny whether it was sent by them.    What broadband network you use matters too  Fibre broadband is recognised as less vulnerable to cyber-attacks relative to older networks such as copper or cable. While no network is bullet proof, if you can access fibre broadband at your home or work it makes sense to make the switch.   To find out whether SIRO’s 100% fibre broadband is available to your home search your Eircode today. [lookup_modal type="eircode" button-text="Search Your Eircode" position="mid" title="Input your Eircode to check whether SIRO is available at your location"]
Today we are happy to announce that our full fibre network is now available in Dungarvan. Our fibre broadband roll-out in the town is bringing reliable, high-speed connectivity to over 1,900 homes and businesses in Dungarvan. Our network build works in the area commenced in March 2023, with works expected to be fully completed during Q4, 2023. Our full fibre broadband is already available to over 12,000 premises in Waterford City.   Areas in the town which will benefit from the roll out include (but are not limited to): Mitchel Street, Springmount, Shandon Street, Town Court, Emmet Street, Parnell Street, O’Connell Street, Doctor Caseyville, Saint Thomas Street, Saint Mary Street, Boreennatra, Grattan Square.   Several hundred homes and businesses within the town can already avail of our full fibre broadband; and with build ongoing the remainder of the premises will be able to access the network between now and year end. Dungarvan Latest Town To Get Full Fibre Broadband, As SIRO Expands Its Waterford Network The roll-out of a full fibre broadband network in Dungarvan is part of our ongoing network expansion, targeting more than 700,000 premises in towns and cities across Ireland by 2026. To date, over 520,000 premises in 135 towns across the country can access the SIRO network. Overall, we are investing more than €1 billion in delivering high speed, future proofed broadband across Ireland.  SIRO 100% fibre broadband is available to both homes and businesses within Dungarvan, with speeds of up to two gigabits per second available for homes in the area, and up to ten gigabits for enterprise connections.  SIRO, founded back in 2015, is a joint venture company between ESB and Vodafone, focused on delivering full fibre broadband to Ireland’s towns and cities. SIRO’s network is built upon the existing ESB electricity infrastructure, bringing it into the hearth of homes and businesses and ensuring stability and resilience.   We are a wholesaler broadband provider, meaning that consumers and businesses can order their full fibre broadband from one of our twenty retail partners, including Virgin Media, Vodafone, Sky, Digiweb, Viatel, Pure Telecom, Fastcom and Blacknight.  Commenting on the announcement, SIRO Chief Executive Officer, John Keaney, said: 
“Dungarvan is the latest town to benefit from SIRO’s high-speed connectivity. High quality and robust broadband connectivity allow individuals, families and communities to enjoy greater flexibility and convenience in how they live.  “Our fibre broadband allows local businesses to thrive and ensures households can keep up with their day-to-day activities through the benefits of a reliable and fast connection. As a result, SIRO powered towns and cities, like Dungarvan and Waterford city, are regarded as attractive places to live, work and invest in.  “A resilient broadband connection which homes and businesses can depend on, when they need it, is an essential part of how we now live. SIRO’s full fibre broadband provides Dungarvan and Waterford city homes and businesses with the choice and certainty they need to leverage connectivity and digital technologies in ways which work best for them,” added Mr. Keaney. 
To find out if SIRO broadband is available to you, search your Eircode today. [lookup_modal type="eircode" button-text="Search Your Eircode" position="mid" title="Input your Eircode to check whether SIRO is available at your location"]
Today we are happy to announce that we will be bringing our full fibre broadband network to the towns of Gort and Athenry. The announcement was made as part of a presentation by senior SIRO representatives to the monthly meeting of Galway County Council this week. SIRO representatives confirmed that it will roll out its broadband network to 1,800 homes in Gort and 1,500 homes in Athenry. Build works commenced in Athenry in June, with Gort to start later this year. The first premises in these towns are expected to go live and be available for order on a rolling basis from early summer next year. Gort And Athenry Latest Galway Towns To Benefit From SIRO’s Full Fibre Broadband Our network is already available or under construction in several county Galway towns. The network in Oranmore and Barna is complete, and our broadband services are available to order. In Ballinasloe and Loughrea, our fibre broadband network is currently under construction with some premises already available to order and the remainder to be complete by early next year. Our full investment in these six Galway towns is expected to exceed €11 million. In addition, the SIRO network is also available to over 35,000 premises in right across Galway city. Gort And Athenry Latest Galway Towns To Benefit From SIRO’s Full Fibre Broadband SIRO is a joint venture between ESB and Vodafone, founded in 2015, with objective of rolling out Ireland’s first full fibre broadband network. Since then, we have rolled out our network to 520,000 premises – homes and businesses – in 135 towns across Ireland. We are continuing to build its network across Irish towns and is targeting more than 700,000 premises by 2026. Commenting on SIRO’s expansion to Gort and Athenry, SIRO CEO John Keaney noted:
SIRO is pleased to be bringing its full fibre broadband network to two further County Galway towns. Resilient and reliable connectivity is critical to regional towns like Gort and Athenry. Having high-speed, high-quality broadband is essential to how we now live and work. It allows people to work from home, stay connected online but remain living within their community. Above, it gives individuals and families convenience and flexibility to enjoy a better more sustainable work life balance. Equally, for businesses, fast and reliable broadband is fundamental to how companies, big and small, operate day to day.  From using Cloud technologies, to hybrid working, video calls, large file transfers or using AI or VR technologies, fibre broadband is the critical component to accessing these technologies.Once SIRO’s rollout is complete, homes and businesses in Gort and Athenry will now have access to connectivity on a par with the best available elsewhere in Ireland or Europe,” added Mr. Keaney.
Leas Cathaoirleach Cllr. Evelyn Francis Parsons commented:
“Investments to improve broadband services in County Galway are to be welcomed, as the need to access high speed broadband is fast becoming a part of everyday life for most people”.
Chief Executive Mr. Liam Conneally noted that:
SIRO’s announcement on its future network deployment in County Galway is very much to be welcomed. Delivery of high-speed fibre networks in Athenry and Gort represents very significant investment by SIRO”. “Access to High-speed broadband is a key economic enabler for existing business, with the potential to help them increase their online presence and to trade online nationally and internationally. “This investment will have positive impacts for these Towns around growth, generating economic spin off effects, making these towns more attractive for future investment “Delivery of high-speed connectivity will increase opportunities for citizens to work locally, as remote working becomes more realistic for larger numbers of people. This should also lead to a lowering of the towns carbon footprints and provide residents with more choice on broadband service provision in the future”, added Mr. Conneally.
Director of Services Mr. Derek Pender stated:
Ongoing commercial investment that is delivering  high speed broadband service across the county is essential to insure any digital divide in our county is reduced and that the government target of all Irish households and businesses having access to Gigabit networks no later than 2028 is meet”.
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