Safer internet day (SID) is held in February every year to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially among children and young people.
This year, Curators Hub and the AkureTechUP community organised an event to mark the Safer Internet day,with participants drawn from several schools in Akure. The young people were part of an interactive deliberation on this year’s theme, “A better internet starts with you “.
While speaking at the event, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on Information and Communication Technology, Olumbe Akinkugbe reiterated the commitment of the present administration to a safer internet especially for children and teenagers.
Akinkugbe urged the participants to raise greater awareness of information, support and training that is available adding that efforts are in place to ensure that children are well protected while using the internet.
A facilitator at the event, Blessing Timidi Digha emphasised the need for parents and schools to work hand in glove to end the menace of cyber bullying. She urged the students, especially young girls, to always find someone to talk to if they were being bullied by anybody on the internet.
Mrs. Digha encouraged parents and adults to be on the look out and be accessible to children, without sounding judgemental, as this was the only way young people will confide in them.
Visioner of curator’s hub, Olusola Amusan said the event is tailored towards helping teenagers develop the digital skills they need to stay safe online. He expressed optimism that stakeholders and other partners will continue to provide platfoms that will equip youths and other young people with the needed skills to effectively participate in the digital revolution.
The Panelists shared their thoughts on the need to protect yourself online; Mark Afolabi from Whitespaces cautioned participants to be cautious of identity thefts, by being careful of where they share their personal information; including being wary of websites they visit. Other Panelists Tosin Oluwalowo, Yuji(A social athropologist from Japan), Laide Ajanaku also shared tips along the border of taking responsibility for what you post online; careful surfing and the need to emphasise intellectual property.
On his part, Co-covener, AkureTechUp, Kitan David expressed commitment that the community is focused on positioning the city as a place where Technology can be easily assimilated—children, youths and Adults. Kitan added that programmes, workshops, trainings and meetups will be organised to ensure that the needed information is available for learning.
Highlight of the event include panel discussions, Essay competition on the theme and sharing of materials on social media safety tips.