A recent research carried out by the DQ Institute reveals that 54% of Nigerian children between the ages of 8 and 12 are threats to cyber risks ranging from illicit online sexual behaviours, video game addiction and cyberbullying when logged on to social media platforms.
Many children are exposed to extreme contents and videos that they can’t handle; some are victims of cyberbullying; a wide majority are addicted to video games. The report shares a summary of these behaviours and how this could be minimised when children use the internet. Logging on to platforms like Facebook and YouTube do not permit strict measures, except that one is notified that they can’t view certain contents because they are considered extreme. Of course, anyone could easily input a wrong age to gain easy access, putting many children at a risk.
The DQ institute has collaborated with RAVE Et AI to minimise all forms of cyber risks and create awareness on the dangers of extreme exposure to the internet and social networking platforms. The founder of the organisation, Charity Babatunde is set on a mission to reinforce values in children and ensure that there’s a balance between online and offline activities.
The DQEveryChild, the strategic global movement, set to be in operation aims to empower children with “digital intelligence” to enable them delineate between what is useful and what isn’t. According to the founder, the framework will focus on footprints that would guide younger children on contents that they should react to or share on social networks.
Currently, over 1000 children across the county participated in the 2017 Multinational Screen Time Study and this is a great step into the “digital citizenship education”. Mrs. Babatunde highlighted that in continuation, RAVE would receive a national report that would give an insight into the depth of children’s exposure to the internet and online behaviours, so as to determine what initiatives to be employed.
Adults and teenagers also face cyber risks as these, especially cyber-bullying and sexual harassment. In fact, extreme characters as these have become the order of the day. You can’t imagine the risk that these children face. Even so, the Messenger for kids launched last year by Facebook has been heavily criticised by a number of organisations in the US. Simply put, the huge risk is a reality that we must live with. Talking about the collaboration between both organisations, Dr. Yuhyun said: “We must act quickly and take positive steps to help these children facing cyber risks around, especially in the ICT emerging countries”.