The Government of Ghana, through the Ministry of Communications launched the Safer Digital Ghana campaign with Child Online Protection (COP) as a key component aimed at getting children educated on the risk of being on the internet.
It against this backdrop of this, that NAKSAM SOLUTIONS organized the maiden Child-in-Tech Conference, which seeks to support the efforts of the government in fighting the cybercrime menace through sensitization.
The 2-day conference, which was slated on Monday 11th – Tuesday 12th of March, 2019, at the Accra Digital Centre dubbed, “Empowering children in the cyberspace” was designed to help educate children on the risk factors they are exposed to in the cyberspace.
In his open remarks at the event, Mr. Frank Prince Baiden, the Executive Director of NAKSAM SOLUTIONS, said, “We hope to minimize the rate of cyber-attack and have the most safer technology students in the country. This conference seeks to create awareness for children across Ghana and beyond. It will help educate children on potential risks within the cyberspace.”
According to him, the conference was born out of a passion to empower children to know which information about them and others could be shared.
“During the regular ICT education by NAKSAM SOLUTIONS to the children in Tesano Community, we discovered how tempting it was to see pop ups on the internet without clicking. Child-in-Tech conference is aiming at getting children to the point where they can decide which friend request to accept, which message to respond to, which information to send out to strangers on the internet,” He intimated.
Mr. Frank also said, “As we deliberate as pupils today, we have been charged with the responsibility of educating our friends, family and parents on the need to stay safe in the cyber space.”
On his part, Mr. George Kwashie Awusu, Senior Manager, DPP West Africa Interim Head of Marketing and Solutions at KPMG, said, in a digital age where many young people are logging long hours of screen-time, it was critical that government bodies, parents, teachers, organizations and industry experts work together to arm them with the information they need to stay safe online and offline.
He said, “According to the child internet study conducted by the center for cyber safety and education in the USA, 40 percent of kids have connected or chatted with a stranger online; with 53 percent of those kids having revealed their phone number to a stranger. Alarmingly, the same study found that those who admitted to chatting with strangers online, 11 percent met with a stranger and 6 percent revealed their home address.”
Deputy Minister for Communications, Vincent Sowah Odotei, and Member of Parliament of La Dadekotopon in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana, charged the kids to follow the basic hygiene practices called cyber hygiene.
Emphasising that, “someone sends you an unsolicited mail and you don’t know the person, you need to authenticate it before you spread it to your friends. As children, you must know that, there are some things that are done by adults, so you must desist from spreading unauthenticated things you see on the internet. As you cannot whisper to anyone you meet on your way anyhow, so you cannot spread anything you see on the internet.”
The Deputy Minister, added that, “We are making gap analysis to ensure that, we have a dedicated and focused legislation on Child Online Protection, and I can assure you that, it will be not too long we will be able to address issues affecting students and our children. Over the past two years, the government has invested a lot, also in training prosecutors, lawyers, CIDs and high court judges, on how to fight, adjudicate and prosecute cybercrimes to ensure we protect our children.”