Ghana is making progress in the prevention of the incidence of cyber crime because of government’s high level of commitment towards that cause, Dr Nana Kofi Annan, a consultant at the Ministry of Communications (MoC), has said.
He said the MoC commissioned the Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre at the Oxford University in collaboration with the World Bank to conduct a study into the cyber security maturity level of Ghana and their findings show that “the cyber security maturity level in Ghana is at the formative stage”.
This assessment, he said, was evident in the implementation of a number of initiatives since the assumption of office by the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on January 7, 2017.
Dr Annan, a Child Online Protection (COP) Consultant with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) at the MoC, was speaking in an interview with Ghana News Agency in Sunyani after he had addressed students as part of the annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSA) programme under the “A Safer Digital Ghana” project.
In its second year and organised by the MoC, with funding support from UNICEF and other partners including the WB and the African Union (AU), the annual NCSA month programme by government was launched on October 1, 2017”.
Under the theme: “Cyber Security and Child Online Safety”, the one day event sensitized 543 students that comprised 347 males and 196 females from seven Senior High Schools (SHSs) in the Sunyani Municipality and Sunyani West District on issues relating to cyber security.
He said those initiatives included the adoption of the national cyber security institution framework (NCIF), the appointment of the National Cyber Security Advisor to advise the MoC on the implementation of national cyber security programmes, the inauguration of the National Cyber Security Inter-Ministerial Advisory Council (NCSIAC) and the National Cyber Security Technical Working Group (NCSTWG) among others.
Dr Annan said the challenges associated with cyber security was a global issue adding that the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has taken it up with a programme dubbed “Global Cyber Security Agenda” to ensure that countries put in the needed effort in terms of relevant policies and legislation to help prevent cyber-crime.
Through power point presentation, Dr Annan earlier sensitized the students on a number of cyber security-related issues.
They included “Child pornography”, “Cyber grooming”, ”Cyber bullying”, Cyber stalking”, “Cyber gambling”, “How to stay safe online by creating strong pass word and not sharing it with other people” and “Being selective when accepting friendship online”.
Others were “Being careful of whatever one posts online” and “To be able to report incidence of cyber-crime to the NCSC through the schools’ Guidance and Counselling Units for the appropriate action to be taken”.
Mr Michael Nsiah-Agyapong, the Headmaster of the Sunyani SHS, in a welcoming address, expressed concern that cyber-crime has become a burden and a worrying challenge confronting not only nations, public and private organisations but also individuals globally.
He said criminals at various locations in the community, national to international levels were using that to perpetrate their criminal activities.
Mr Nsiah-Agyapong admonished the students to be cautious and think carefully about what they say before they post something online and be careful with whom they share their personal information.