As scammers continue the use of social media platforms to defraud, blackmail and even lure unsuspecting members of the public to their untimely deaths, experts have warned parents on the dangers of allowing their children and wards unfettered access to networking sites.
They made this known in Lagos State, during a workshop themed, “Social Media and Online Safety for Children,” organised by the Institute for Work and Family Integration (IWFI), in collaboration with The Lagoon School, Lekki, where they also stressed that children could also be exposed to cyber bullying.
Managing Director, Swift Networks, Charles Anudu, who spoke on the topic, “Potential Dangers in this Digital Age: Protecting Your Family,” noted that the key to protecting children is creating a rapport between them, and their parents by keeping the “communication line open, educating them on the good and bad of the social media, while not prying too much into their privacy, lest they feel insecure. However, ensure an atom of control.”
He said with this, the children would not only trust their parents, but will also be their first port of call once faced with a challenge, “be it online or offline.”
Anudu, represented by the Chief Operating Officer of the company, Chukwuma Okoye, stressed that security issues should not be left for the security agencies alone, adding, “the police are yet to fully tackle mainstream crimes, not to talk of cyber crimes. As for me, to ensure the safety of my children who are still teenagers, I encourage them to bring their friends home, let me get to know them and if possible, know their parents also.”
On his part, Head of Department, Design and Print Media, Pan Atlantic University (PAU), Pius Onobhayedo, who spoke on “Digital Footprint: Which One Lasts Forever- Safeguarding the Future of Children,” said contrary to the general belief that things posted on the social media could be deleted, they cannot be permanently deleted as they are stored in the bank of such media, hence the need for parents to properly guide their children on what to post online, and what not to post, because “we are at the mercy of the owner of these social media platforms.”
IWFI’s Acting Executive Secretary, Charles Aigbona, in an interaction with The Guardian at the forum, said the institute deemed it expedient to hold the workshop because the “dangers that the kids are faced with, and susceptible to are quite enormous. We have heard cases of murder and corruption of character as a result of the use of social media.”