In their efforts to sensitize the students of secondary schools in Nigeria on internet safety and security, the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), in collaboration with Avocats Sans Frontières France (ASF France) and Spaces for Change (S4C) under their e- Rights project supported by the European Union in Nigeria has flagged-up the training of more than 500 secondary school students in Kano State.

The beneficiaries of the program were selected from 10 different secondary schools in the state. It has been observed that there are millions of children who are using online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Tiktok etc. for different purposes. While many of these children are using it for social interaction, businesses, academic others are using these platforms for pleasure.

However, while some of the these children are being guided on how to use these platforms by either their parents, guardians or teachers, many are being left on their own which expose them to danger and vulnerability of meeting bad people who in many instances bullied them, sexually abused them or introduced them to bad behaviors or cultism. To reduce these harms, the e-RIGHTS project sensitized these vulnerable students in Kano State on Internet Safety and Security The aim of the program is to sensitize and build the capacity of the students on internet safety and security.

The sensitization which was started on the 2 nd of November, 2023 ran up to the 24 th of
November, 2023. The benefiting schools were Fatima Muhammad Secondary School,
Government Girls Secondary School Dorayi Karama, Kofar Nasarawa Secondary School,
Government Girls Secondary School Unguwa Uku, Government Girls Secondary School
Hausawa, Government Girls Secondary School Sharada, SAS Kano, Government Girls Secondary School Yakasai, Government Secondary School Tudun Maliki (School for the disabled children) and Government Secondary School Unguwa Uku.

Areas covered during the sensitization include Malware; Phishing; Impersonation; Individual’s Online Safety; Internet Safety and Security; How To be safe online which include practicing safe browsing, keeping privacy settings on, keeping personal information professional and limited, being careful of what and where to download, making sure internet connection is secure, using a secure virtual private network (vpn) connection, choosing strong passwords, and being careful of what you post. Also issues of sexual harassment, cyberbullying, blackmail and other online harassment were covered during the sensitization.

Speaking at the sensitization, many of the students confessed that they had in one way or the other encountered one or two aspects of cyberbullying while surfing the internet. According to the students, they identified blackmail and harassment as some of the frequent challenges they face on the internet.

The sensitization not only benefitted the targeted students but also the teachers of the schools visited. In most cases, in some schools up to five teachers joined the sensitization and learned from the discussion. Giving feedback, some of the teachers stated that the sensitization has updated their knowledge on internet safety, particularly on issues of scammers and identity theft, especially in this contemporary era where almost everyone is utilizing various social media platforms for e-commerce. They also identified the issue of sexual harassment which is now rampant on the internet as a topic that they will ensure other students who were not in attendance at the sensitization due to the limited number of the selected students benefit from what they have learned.

CITAD in collaboration with other partners would continue to sensitize teenagers including
those out of schools in the area of internet safety and security as the number of young people who are using the internet especially social media is everyday increasing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *