NCC develops devises to protect children online


By Anayo Ezugwu

THE Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has developed devices measures to protect children using the internet during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. NCC said child online abuse is a societal concern that is being exacerbated by the spread of the virus.

In a report titled ‘Keeping Children Safe Online: Advice to parents and caregivers, the NCC noted that online safety is not the non-existence of harm or risk, rather it is creating the atmosphere or opportunity to overcome the risks, while enjoying the inherent benefits of using the internet. The report stated that educating young children about cyber safety is complicated, as young children often do not understand the social and technical complexities of the internet.

“This difficulty in understanding arises because the internet is virtual and cannot be experienced firsthand by the sense. As computers are usually in a place children perceive as safe, the risks are not readily apparent to them. They do not understand that the computer can be networked and connected beyond a safe place to a world that can be both risky and dangerous.

“Young children and most adults, do not realize that materials posted on the internet oftentimes, do not have external controls or standards to subscribe to. Nations are presently grappling with the impact of COVID-19, including the fact that young people are compelled to spend more time at home which implies, more screen time (offline and online).

“The impact of COVID-19 pandemic has brought to bear a shift in the norms, putting more activities, including education of children, online. This has leapfrogged Nigerian children into the future. Online activities have acquired new meaning and become the reality of Nigerian parents and children. Screen time and screen activities are the new normal.

“Parents are constantly searching for online learning platforms, TV stations are providing more Child-based educational content and schools are teaching via Zoom, Google Classroom, and YouTube. Cyberspace, the internet, and online activities are here to stay. The future has arrived, welcome!! The fusion of children and the internet has not given birth to new concerns as is widely perceived, it has magnified the critical need for parents and caregivers to step up to the new norms of Online Life for Children, thus the need for Online Parenting.

“Concerns of safety and privacy have been with us from the beginning of time. What has changed, however, are the invisible and borderless nature of these concerns and the magnitude of the consequences when they occur,” it said.

– Jul. 2, 2020 @ 11:09 GMT |

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