A global village is what the internet made the world to be. Small in terms of you have access to what you need instantly without much to do and have apart from an internet enabled device. The Internet has made communication very easy and access to information. Everyone nowadays literally is a Netizen. But with the connectivity, came risks that were not anticipated and that is why each year on the 11th February, the world joins together in “Safer Internet Day” to address the risk, share tips of internet safety and create awareness.
February 11, 2020, is Safer Internet Day, a worldwide event aimed at promoting the safe and positive use of digital technology for all users, especially children and teens. This year’s theme—Together for a better internet—encourages everyone to play their part in creating a safer, more secure internet.CISA US-CIRT
Many across the world joined and so did many countries across Africa. the conversation was on and it was important to have it covered. Some of the conversations included;
Google Africa joined in the conversations by engaging in different forums in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya. YouTube too created campaigns and Tweets celebrating the safer Internet day. Having tech giants joining the conversation boosted the reach as many who did not know had an idea of what was happening.
The conversations in Kenya happened on the 13th Feb 2020 having being organized by Communications Authority of Kenya in partnership with other stakeholders such as Afralti, Watoto watch Network, ChildlineKenya etc.
CyberSpeak LC being a pan-African cyber security platform, brought together speakers from different countries across Africa so as to address the #SaferInternetDay2020 from an African View. Samantha Petersen from South Africa, Olamide Odeneye from Nigeria, Ivan Ojakol from Uganda and Collins Bunde from Kenya joined in on a webinar together in unison joining the 150 countries across the world that celebrated #SID2020.
The discussion on the webinar was interesting as we got to debate on different issues. To mention a few, the speakers & attendees engaged in a conversation like;
- What is the right age for a child to be trusted with a device that has got internet connection: This is a parents decision to make in most cases, but as many urgue out that at 18yrs when the child has got the ability to make decisions, some at 16yrs, 10yrs or at 21yrs, it mostly came out to be a decision that only parents can make. Its not about whether the child has a device, but it is about if the parent/guardian keeps tabs of what the child does with the device. The responsibility is all with the parents/guardians.
- Also, we got to discuss about people who publish all about their children online. This debate was fueled by the fact that, in this age, many people/celebrities expose their children to the online space as early as 0 (zero) days old. This cases have become common as parents show off their children to the internet. Creating Instagram, Twitter and YouTube accounts just to document their children. The big question to this was, who gave the parent consent to expose the children? What happens to the child when they get older and are not happy about some of the content the parents put out there. what is some of that content is used against them in future? Back to the parents, being a parent give one the responsibility of making sure the child’s present and future life is comfortable, but exposure does not really guarantee this with so many Cyber criminals watching.
- The other conversation we held was on the collaboration with authorities and tech firms to be able to cub the online crimes that happen. It was clear by Collins Bunde that in Kenya, there is a watershed period for media to air content that is rated. This has been made possible by the regulator – Communications Authority of Kenya – giving guidelines to media stations on timelines to air specific contents. Olamide Odeneye too mentioned that in Nigeria, there are efforts for the Authorities to get involved in protecting the larger masses against cyber criminals.
This among many more topics were discussed and at the end of the day, recommendations were made. If you would like to listen to the discussion, listen here;
And to close off the day, Olamide Odeneye gave us a small advise. Listen to it and carefully follow the guidelines.