The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has urged parents and guardians to monitor and manage their children’s online engagement as uncontrolled exposure to cyberspace is fraught with many negatives for children’s well-being.
Contributing at the recent First Web Rangers Nigeria Summit in Abuja, a Google initiative that focuses on developing digital literacy and equipping telecom consumers with the knowledge they need for their online safety, NCC Executive Vice President, Prof. Umar Danbatta, declared to be imperative. to know what our children are doing in cyberspace.
At the Summit, themed “Navigating online safety responsibility between users, providers and regulators”, which discussed measures to address the challenges posed by online criminal activities affecting children and youth, Danbatta, represented by the Director, New Media and Information Security (NMIS), Dr. Haru Alhassan, said the Commission is committed to supporting the governance and security of the nation’s cyberspace, as well as facilitating the adoption of innovative technologies and the acquisition of skills in Technology of Information and Communications (ICT). .
He said the telecoms regulator was aware of the responsibilities entrusted to it in ensuring security in the digital ecosystem, which informed the establishment of the NCC Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT), which was inaugurated in 2021.
He explained that the CSIRT responds to computer security incidents to regain control and minimize damage by providing or assisting in effective incident response and recovery and inhibiting computer security incidents such as malware, viruses and online threats to children.
Alhassan also recalled the Commission’s establishment of the Internet Industry Code of Practice (ICP) in 2019, which is designed to secure the country’s cyberspace against imminent threats from cyber attackers, as well as address issues such as the protection children online, privacy and data protection, among others
Dr. Alhassan noted that the Commission is a member of the National Committee for the Development of a Unified National Strategy on Child Online Protection (COP) in Nigeria and pointed out that the NCC regularly sensitizes parents and children on cybercrime trends such as cyberbullying, phishing and online identity theft.
Dawn Dimowo, Manager, Government Affairs and Public Policy, Google Nigeria, said the Summit is an opportunity to strengthen advocacy for digital safety and empower youth to share their innovation.
The maiden web ranger summit was anchored by the Public and Private Development Center (PPDC) through the Digital Inclusion and Safe Internet (DISI) program.
As an organization, PPDC has successfully pioneered safer internet and digital inclusion practices and activities in some schools and among many stakeholders in Nigeria. Some of these initiatives are the development of the Online Safety Curriculum, Web Rangers Clubs, online safety training for staff and students and the annual Safer Internet Day celebration in collaboration with the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC).