On the 12th October 2022 the Communications Regulators’Association of Southern Africa (CRASA), on request from Westwood International School in Gaborone, Botswana, hosted Standard 6 students who carried out an interview with CRASA to obtain information on their school research on cybersecurity and cybercrime, particularly cyberbullying.
The half-day visit was divided into two sessions and was attended by the entire CRASA team. The first session was a set of interactive presentations from the CRASA team on the history of communications, the establishment of CRASA and role the organization has in the Southern Africa region in addressing Cybersecurity challenges and preventing Cybercrime particularly Cyberbullying. The students further learnt on important habits when using online services, personal information and its dangers, use of internet applications, importance of passcode and passwords, benefits and risks social network, online identities, age of consent, ways of dealing with improper online behaviour including reporting, blocking and screenshotting information and what to do when in doubt regarding online conduct.
The second session was led by the students asking questions to CRASA team on various issues that covered the definition of cybersecurity, types of cybercrimes and impact to society, scamming and ways scammers use to exploit their victims, what can people do to avoid cybercrime, ways to stop or decrease cybercrime.
The Executive Secretary Ms.Bridget Linzie then availed the opportunity to have parents, teachers, and students in the meeting to raise awareness of the global Online Child Protection and Online Safety Guidelines developed by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that CRASA had adopted for the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region targeting parents, educators, policy makers and children. Ms. Linzie informed parents and teachers that Cybersecurity attacks affect adults and children, businesses and governments and therefore all users of the internet have a shared responsibility to ensure that illegal incidents are limited to a minimum by adopting best practices in cyber hygiene such as regularly updating of apps and operating systems, installing and using antivirus and malware software, using and changing passwords, monitoring applications that are accessed by children and family members, consider age limits of digital consent, educating children of the dangers of meeting with a stranger and proactively helping children understand the online environment.
The teachers, parents and students thanked CRASA for their time and requested CRASA to carry out more awareness to schools to equip students of digital skills necessary to engage in the internet.
This meeting with students from Westwood International School was part of CRASA’s Corporate Social Responsibility programs that CRASA undertakes every year and in commemoration of Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
To access these teaching aids, click on the link; https://www.itu-cop-guidelines.com/children