- By Rotimi Onadipe
In today’s society, internet and social media platforms are good means of communication and were invented for many advantages such as making friends, building good relationship, business development, getting useful information that can add wisdom, knowledge and understanding to the human life etc.
However, the reverse is now the case because the advantage is now being used as a disadvantage. Internet and social media networks, which were invented as instruments of blessing, are now being used as instruments of sorrow, destruction and death.
We must be informed that the technology age has made it impossible for internet and social media network users to differentiate the wheat from the chaff. It is now possible for internet fraudsters to upload the pictures of innocent people online, impersonate them and use their pictures to commit internet related crimes. Some fraudsters also specialise in hacking of telephone lines, email or social media accounts of unsuspecting victims and use their identity to commit fraud.
It is very sad that the human life which was created by God for the booming of his grace is now going through various online risks on a daily basis, leading many victims to financial loss, depression, broken homes, suicide etc.
According to FTC’s “Consumer Sentinel Data Book,” the most common categories of fraud complaints last year were imposter scams, debt collection and identity theft cases – more than 167,000 people reported a fraudulent credit card account was opened with their information.
However, to effectively check and escape the dangers attributed to internet and social media network usage in today’s digital age, the following safety tips will guide us properly:
1. Users of internet and social media networks should always ask sensitive and technical questions from whoever they chat with so as to get some information that will help them to differentiate between real friends and online scammers.
2. Internet users should also avoid disclosing their personal or sensitive information to people on social media.
3. Parents on the other hand should train their children in the way of the lord and impact the fear of God into their lives through prayer and counseling.
4. Users of internet should also be very careful of any offer on the internet that appears too good to be true.
5. There is need for government and non governmental organisations to always organise programs on cybercrime awareness and prevention.
6. The police, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other relevant agencies should also maintain a very strong relationship with Internet Service Providers, telecom companies and Cyber cafe operators to aid their investigations when cybercrime cases are reported.
7. There is also a need for Religious and Non-Governmental Organizations to always organise programs that will help the youths to discover their God-given talents, especially at their early age.
8. Finally, a bill should be passed into law that will make it mandatory for the inclusion of Moral Education in the list of subjects and courses in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.