The Director General of the Cyber Security Authority (CSA), Dr Albert Antwi Bosiako, has advised parents to be extra vigilant about their children, concerning the use of the Internet.
Parents who exposed their children on social media in a very negative manner, he said, were likely to ruin the latter’s future.
“We shouldn’t forget that we are leaving digital footprints on the Internet with the kind of content we post. Therefore, those who upload almost half naked pictures of their children, are doing harm than good,” he cautioned.
Dr Antwi Bosiako was speaking to the Ghanaian Times, over the weekend, ahead of this year’s Africa Safer Internet Day yesterday.
The event is celebrated jointly with other African countries, rallying behind the promotion of a safer and more responsible use of online technology by children and young people around the world.
The Director General further advised parents to guide their wards on the safer use of the Internet, by engaging and building trust amongst them, since cybercrime was not only a “technology problem rather a social problem.”
He noted that the recent abuse of the internet, on the part of the eight Chiana Senior High School girls, was rather unfortunate. Although pardoned, this negative content by the students could jeopardise their future endeavours since some institutions might find it uncomfortable recruiting them in their workplaces.
“We need to take basic precautionary measures by avoiding posting sensitive information since it is impossible to get rid of them. We are therefore promoting the safer use of the Internet on the content we consume, contact that we establish and conduct as well,” he added.
According to the Director General, Ghana was ranked third among the top countries with active social media person on the Internet. This made citizens vulnerable due to their active presence on the Internet via social media.
He therefore, reiterated the need to enforce the provisions under the Cyber security Acts which seek to protect children especially, on the Internet.
We have a huge mandate by way of awareness creation, ensuring the criminal provisions in the law were fully enforced.
“Criminal offences such as the indecent image or photograph of a child, aiding and abetting children for the purposes of sexual abuses, cyber stalking of a child, sexual extortion- where attackers manage to get intimate images of young people, mostly girls and use it to extort money from them- are all punishable by law,” he noted.
Dr Antwi Bosiako tasked the public to file complaints by calling 292 to ensure their safety from online predators.
Despite numerous interventions by the Authority, Dr Antwi Bosiako said financing remained the biggest issue due to the need of more public sensitisation across the country, adding that engagements with the media and other stakeholders had proven pivotal in ensuring how the public lived responsible cyber lives.
He also entreated the public to comply with the rules and regulations of the Authority to ensure the safer use on the Internet.
Although a global event, the occasion is celebrated in Africa to contextualise some local opportunities and challenges for African children and users of the internet.
This year’s event is on the theme “Empowering the African Child on Safer Internet.”
BY YUNUSAH ESSANDOH