Due to the increasing level of dependence on the internet in carrying out daily activities especially for young people, Kashifu Inuwa, the Director General National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said understanding online security is not just important for young people but essential.
He said growth is fueled by innovation, but sustainability is ensured by security as the most cutting-edge platforms can collapse in an instant without strong security measures.
He opined that it is important to empower young minds with knowledge saying “We really must include cybersecurity and digital literacy in our curricula.
Not only should young people learn how to code, but also how to keep themselves and their work safe online.”
Inuwa ably represented by Engr Mohammed Kabiru of Cybersecurity Department made this known while delivering a keynote speech on the theme ‘Cyber Safety, Promoting Young People & the Power of Innovation in a Digital Economy at the Nigeria Teen Cyber Festival 2023 organised by the Child Cyber Protection Initiative in collaboration with NITDA and other relevant stakeholders at Baze University in Abuja.
The fest sought to also ignite innovations & exchange of ideas among young people and to foster a healthy online culture. By educating participants on issues of cybersecurity and online privacy.
Inuwa asserted that while individuals bear responsibility, tech giants and governments are also responsible for safeguarding digital space through more proactive measures, partnerships and collaborations.
He said “NITDA has been at the forefront of addressing cybercrime and online security with the role it played in the drafting of CyberCrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act 2015. This Act provides a unified and comprehensive legal, regulatory, and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention, detection, prosecution, and punishment of cybercrimes in Nigeria. “
“This Act also ensures the protection of critical national information infrastructure and promotes cybersecurity and the protection of computer systems and networks, electronic communications, data and computer programs, intellectual property, and privacy rights.”
The DG stated that the young ones are not just consumers but are leading the digital revolution across the globe. He stated that they produce applications, platforms, and solutions that millions, if not billions, of people use every day.
“But immense power also entails great responsibility. The same technologies that link us across continents also have the potential to be exploited against us. Cyber threats have advanced significantly, ranging from deep fakes to identity theft. Every click, like, and share has the potential to reveal personal weaknesses,” the DG stated.
He however said that the digital economy has the potential to be both a playground and a fortress for young brains with the correct balance of innovation and security.
“Let us encourage innovation as we go through this digital era while keeping a close eye on internet safety. Give our youth the skills, knowledge, and fortitude they need to guide us into a future where technology is not just about convenience but also about trust, safety, and collective advancement,” he added.