Nigeria’s lack of a position on zero rating and which has left some mobile companies to currently improvise is an emerging digital apartheid, Mallam Yunusa Y’au, the Executive Director of the Kano based Centre for Information Technology and Development, (CITAD) has said. He is subsequently drawing the attention to the need for activists to respond to the development. Speaking as a lead facilitator at an Internet Safety and Security workshop at the centre, Mallam Y’au has equally told a set of 55 persons spanning journalists, civil society activists, teachers and leaders of student for peace clubs of CITAD in tertiary institutions of the necessity to raise awareness about internet safety and security as many people were increasingly falling prey to cybercrime through identity and personality theft
Over three sessions, three different facilitators took the workshop attendees through several rubrics, beginning with a distinction between the two key concepts of internet safety and internet security. Facilitator Mallam Y. Z Y’au pointed out how though related and used interchangeably, the two concepts did not mean the same thing. Emphasizing why attendees must be able to navigate that various perils of the now indispensable tool called the internet, the facilitator then took the students through the various points of perils, the consequences of safety and security breach as well as the various dimensions and manifestation of insecurity online. The session also drew attention to privacy issues, including the right to forget, the possible implications of internet of Things to privacy and concluded by looking at emerging issues such as zero rating and net neutrality.
Abdulganiyyu Rufai and Malam Ahmad A. Yakasai, CITAD’s Programmes Associate and training coordinator respectively, addressed common threats such as viruses, spyware and their consequences; different types of attacks on networks and their countermeasures in relation to confidence, authenticity, integrity and system availability. They implored participants to implement seven regular cyber safety procedures that would protect them, their computers and other persons from many such common threats as regular update of software, running anti-virus always, taking precaution to avoid identity theft and turning on personal firewall protection systems. Engineer Kamal Umar, Technical Officer in CITAD closed the session with demonstrating tips on how to surf the internet safely via a presentation “General online Safety Tips”. Participants called on CITAD to commence a process of mainstream internet safety and security in Nigeria after doing so across its own activities.
Intervention observes that Internet Safety and Security is gradually forming part of the curriculum for professional journalism training in Nigeria. Still commoner outside the formal academic system, the frequency as well as the number of those who have benefited has been rising. The latest of such is the Internet Safety and Security workshop at CITAD.