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54 % of Nigerian children face cyber risks, says report

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As Nigeria joins the world to mark this year’s Safer Internet Day today, a report has shown that on average, 54 per cent of children in Nigeria are exposed to one or other cyber risks.

The inaugural DQ Impact Report from the DQ Institute, Singapore, summarises the current state of online child safety and digital citizenship.

The study, which was conducted in November 2017, included 38,000 participants from ages eight to 12 years in 29 countries, including Nigeria.

According to the study, the specific cyber risks range from cyber bullying, video game addiction, online grooming and online sexual behaviours when using online platforms.

The most prevalent cyber risk was found to be victimization by cyberbullying (37 per cent), followed by exposure to inappropriate content (16 per cent) and video game addiction (14 per cent).

The report added that Nigeria’s cyber-risk exposure was two per cent lower than the global average of 56 per cent.

Meanwhile, to minimise children’s exposure to cyber risks when using the Internet, a Nigerian company, RAVE Et Al, has entered into a partnership with DQ Institute to infuse children with the required digital intelligence quotient (IQ) through DQEveryChild method.

The firms believe that beyond IQ and EQ, Digital Intelligence (DQ) are must-have skills that children require to use digital technology and media in a safe, responsible and effective way.

DQEveryChild is a strategic global movement, run by the DQ Institute in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and RAVE Et Al Limited, the pioneer DQ Ambassador in Nigeria, to empower children with DQ at the beginning of their digital experience.

The scheme utilises research-based online platform known as DQWorld.net for teaching and assessing digital citizenship skills to children. DQWorld.net can be easily ‘plugged and played’ into any school or national curriculum, and is free for children.

Founder of RAVE Et Al, Charity Babatunde, said in pursuit of her mission to reinforce values and ensure that children are empowered with essential life skills to successfully navigate life online and offline, the company has collaborated with the DQ Institute to ensure that the DQEveryChild movement receives the necessary awareness in Nigeria.

Babatunde said she particularly enjoyed the DQ Framework’s focus on ‘digital footprints,’ that encourages students to be careful of what they share and post online.

Commenting on the report and the need for collaboration between the two firms, Founder, DQ Institute Singapore, Yuhyun Park, said, “We must act quickly and take positive steps to help these children facing cyber-risks around the world, especially in ICT emerging countries.”

Safer Internet Day is celebrated globally in February each year to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people and inspire a national conversation.


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