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EDUCATION: Educate Young People on Cyber security PDF Print E-mail

By Margaret Sevume, I-Network.

High school and tertiary students feel a sense of sophistication and privilege when they can interact on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. There are many benefits when one is tech savvy;  online study notes, help with assignments, illustrations on hard-to-comprehend topics and so many other advantages of the Internet with its unlimited source of information. However, care and sensitisation is needed as there are many unscrupulous conmen who prey especially on young people.


As schools are endeavouring to embrace IT by setting up computer laboratories and instructing their students on their maximum use, a strong caution should be passed on alongside the training. A lot of harm can be caused by the social media when virtual strangers become friends and exchange confidential or damaging information. A very strong caution when using social media is Do Not Accept a Friends Request if you do not know the person face to face.

Young people especially girls have ended up being robbed and worse still raped by people they met on social media platforms.
One member of the I-Network mailing list put it succinctly “The way one does not accept a lift or gifts from strangers is the same way one should not interact with unknown people found on social media.”

A few months ago Joan Alupo a second year student of Makerere University was kidnapped by a so called friend that she met on Facebook. If a well exposed young lady like her could be lured, how much more vulnerable then are students at lower levels?

One of the worst things that could ever happen to a girl is being raped, by a stranger in broad day light!  Unfortunately it happens. With the popularity of social networks and the “meeting-without-meeting” trend, its frequency is alarming. Jinja Road Police Station is investigating  a similar case where a one Andrew Turigye reportedly lured  several girls into sex, and those who were not willing would end up being raped. Turigye hacked into his female cousin’s  Facebook account and “stole” her identity. He kept changing her profile pictures and name from time to time – Penny Love, Backstar Penny or Adelle Pelestine . Turigye used this trick to con and later rape three different girls who all initially thought they were communicating with a fellow girl.According to information from Police’s unit in charge of cyber-crime, such occurrences are on the increase. Although most reported cyber-crime deals with extortion, crimes of a sexual nature are also on the increase.

Cyber security ought to be taught to young people/ students during their computer lessons. Students need to be more informed about cyber crime especially in relation to social media. This would possibly reduce the occurrences of such unfortunate incidences.

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