A Non Profit Organisation, Techsocietal, the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) Internet Society Nigeria and TikTok on Tuesday held workshop for parents and educators on online safety for children.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop hosted by TechSocietal is to commemorate the Safer Internet Day (SID) celebrated every second Tuesday in February
This year’s theme is: ‘’Digital Safety Conversations with Children/Youth’’.
The Executive Director, Techsocietal, Mrs Tope Ogundipe said that the aim was to teach them how to engage digital safety conversations with children.
Ogundipe said that the internet was the new playground, as such there were a lot of things that should be monitored.
She said one of such things was the screen time because excessive screen time could be detrimental to children’s development.
‘’Kids are a priority, according to NCC research, about 79 ;per cent of Nigerian kids are not safe online.
‘’So it is very important that we continue to evolve the strategies, policies, initiatives, programmes that will engage all stakeholders.
‘’We need to have a multi stakeholders affairs to this issues and drive it down to the grassroot with awareness and education about online safety for children,’’ Ogundipe said.
According to her, we should have conversations about contact risk , the thing that children come across online about people who contact them.c
She said that children should be aware of using privacy settings not to share information with strangers.
Ogundipe said that children should also be educated about their behaviour online and not to bully other kids and know who to talk to if they should see anything that was funny online.
‘’We should empower them with tools and resources and how to keep themselves safe online and we should not stop them,” she said.
Ms Ijeoma Bassey, Senior Manager, NCC Zonal Office, Lagos said tha NCC had organised parenting workshop, collaborated with NGOs and others for dissemination of Child Online Protection (COP) materials.
Bassey said that NCC had also talked at Parents Teachers Association’s meeting on online protection of children.
She urged educators and parents to create a safe space for children; they should anticipate risk and they should be empowered to face the challenges.
According to her, educators, parents should be observant and engage children to ensure a healthy balance between fun activities online and fun activities offline.
Mr Adewolu Adene, Public Policy Manager, Google, said that denial of access and shutting the gate of online activity of a child was not the answer to a child’s online safety.
Adewolu said that rather education, awareness and shared responsibility would help in children’s online safety.
The Chief Executive Officer, Data Science, Nigeria, Dr Olubayo Adekambi highlighted seven tools to ensure online safety for children
Adekanmbi said that there were Comment filters, Account and Video Privacy, Screen time management, safety Centre, reporting inappropriate content 13+ functionalities and for you feed to check children.
He said that bad words could hurt a child’s esteem and TikTok hides, filters could determined what people could put on ones page to avoid bullying . (NAN