Review of social media has Nigerian parents alarmed
25% of Nigerian parents claim to have discovered something suspicious or potentially dangerous in their child’s social media account.
This is according to a Kaspersky survey which found that 56% of parents specified groups or public pages that their children join, 50% pointed to posts that they publish or share, 31% mentioned people they interact with, and the same volume of parents referred to videos on their pages, while 19% were concerned about private messages.
In a statement Kaspersky said that amid COVID-19, many families were forced to spend their free time using different internet connected devices and children’s growing online activity can cause lots of worries to their parents.
An excerpt from the company’s statement reads: “What is more, 34% state their child has seen or listened to something that seemed suspicious to them, be that videos (68%), music (43%) or photos (25%). Obviously, this data shows the need to explore the interests of children, to make sure everything is okay or if it is necessary to take action. However, not all the parents realise it – only 19% of them befriend their children via social networks in order to be connected with their kids – sometimes real communication is not enough and the parents have to look carefully at their children’s webpages.”
Maher Yamout, Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky, said, “It gets harder and harder for parents to keep up with the pace of the modern evolving world. They are often left out of the picture as they simply do not catch up with trends that emerge way too fast. However, it is possible to stop this backlog by communicating with your child and ensuring your presence on the Internet – to build trust and a good relationship with your child you have to know what you are talking about with them.”
Kaspersky recommends that parents learn more on the topic of children’s cybersecurity, communicate with your child and define the boundaries which are not meant to be crossed, and install a reliable security solution.
Social media legislation
In December 2019 Nigeria’s Social Media Regulation Bill, officially the Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill 2019, sparked nationwide debate and remains controversial.
According to the Bill, anyone issuing statements on social media that are "likely to be prejudicial to national security" will be liable for prosecution. It also outlaws social media posts that may diminish public confidence in Nigeria's government.
Contravention of the law is punishable by a fine, a three-year prison sentence or both.
Social media has dominated headlines of late, with much attention focused on the USA and in the latest development - reported extensively by the media, that a Washington-based tech group has taken legal action against President Donald Trump over an executive order, issued recently.
IOL.co.za reports that the order allows law enforcement agencies to investigate and penalise social networks, prompting the Centre for Democracy and Technology, with support from Facebook, Google and Twitter, to head to court.