7th February is 20th year of Safer Internet Day (SID).
The Centre in Ghana and partners across the globe have undertaken a series of initiatives to make the internet a better place for people across Africa, especially children and young people.
Child Online Africa has partnered with some public sector agencies, private sector, Unions and non-governmental organizations across Ghana and Africa under the theme “Empowering the African Child on Safer Internet”.
According to a research publication by Statista.com in 2022; “Social media has a wide-reaching and significant impact on not only online activities but also offline behavior and life in general. During a global online user survey in February 2019, a significant share of respondents stated that social media had increased their access to information, eased communication, and contributed to the freedom of expression. On the flip side, respondents also felt that social media had worsened their personal privacy, increased polarization in politics, and heightened everyday distractions.”
This goes without saying that everybody is aware of the positives and the negatives of connectivity and therefore an individual’s digital life should always be safeguarded.
This is why Africa Safer Internet Day partners want to focus on the needs of every individual who is accessing the digital space for various reasons.
Events taking place in 8 of the 16 regions of Ghana and other African countries today will focus on honing the digital skills of internet users.
Key concepts for discussion in all capacity-building sessions have been categorized into 4 main areas:
1. Understanding Your Presence on Digital Platforms.
2. Taking Control of Your Digital Platforms.
3. Securing Your Digital Platforms.
4. Password hygiene.
These have been carefully selected to promote meaningful online experiences, making the internet a better place for all.
We appreciate the funding support from MTN Ghana, World Vision International Ghana, Meta-Africa, and Africa Digital Rights Hub.
Child Online Africa and its partners expect that by the end of the year, users of platforms will practice a higher level of cyber hygiene which can be based on the following steps.
1. Set strong and unique passwords on all accounts.
2. Choose private over public.
3. Fake accounts could come bearing friend requests so learn to say “no”.
4. The internet does not forget.
5. Watch out for phishing scams.
6. Review your tags.
7. Protect yourself and your devices.
Security software can protect you from clicking on malicious links while on social media while steering you clear off other threats like viruses, ransomware, and phishing attacks.
We call on EVERYONE to participate in a discussion online with the #ASID2023 or #AfrikaSID or join an event near you.
Indeed, together for a better internet.
Happy Africa Safer Internet Day.