By Anayo Ezugwu
AS online reading and teaching increase in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has warned parents and caregivers on several risks children face on the internet. The NCC says there is a lot of harmful information and material that children encounter online. It lists some of them to include pornography, violence, fake news (mis-information), among others.
In a report titled ‘Keeping Children Safe Online: Advice to parents and caregivers,’ the NCC cautioned parents and caregivers that allowing their children to meet online friends offline can lead to negative consequences. It also advised them that online grooming can also, occur, this is a situation where a person befriends a young person to gain their confidence and then sexually abuses them.
“There are other physical and psychological risks that could lie in a young person building friendships with strangers online. Others include game addiction, mobile phone overuse impaired sight, loss of confidence and reputational harm due to unguided comments. There are other risks children face from being exposed to making willing and unwilling commercial decisions online – including giving out personal data, gambling, and shopping addiction,” it said.
To avert these risks, NCC advised parents and caregivers to warn their children not to give out personal information like email address, phone number and passwords, when chatting or uploading online. “Meeting someone you have only been chatting with online can be unsafe. Accepting emails, IM messages, or opening files, pictures or text messages from people you don’t know or trust can lead to problems; they may contain viruses or horrible messages.
“Someone online might lie about who they are and the information on the internet may not be true. Always check information with other websites, books, or someone who is knowledgeable. If you like chatting online it’s best to only chat with real-world friends and family. Tell your parent or trusted adult if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried, or if you or someone you know is being bullied online.”
– Jul. 2, 2020 @ 13:13 GMT |