Teens Can Code sensitizes students on online security

The campaign will touch three out of the six geo-political zones across the country.

Teens Can Code is going around the country teaching secondary school students how to stay safe on the internet

Towards driving awareness of online security among secondary school students across Nigeria, Teens Can Code has embarked on a new initiative tagged 'Virtually Safe' that would provide a wide range of resources to help young users stay safe online.

As part of its plans to reach a sizeable population of students, Teens Can Code is working with partners and volunteers to reach over 300 schools through a National School Tour.

The campaign will touch three out of the six geo-political zones across the country.

Some of the activities outlined by the organization to help it connect with the students are Online Safety Art Challenge, Online Safety Debate Competition, Online Safety School Clubs, and the launch of a dedicated website to provide access to online safety resources, engagement, and games for young people.

Teens Can Code’s new campaign comes after the organization got selected by Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, among 26 organizations across Africa to receive grants from its $1,000,000 Africa Online Safety Fund. Administered by Impact Amplifier and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, the Google campaign was designed to tackle the challenges related to hate, extremism, disinformation, and child safety, both online and offline in Africa.

Over the years, the Internet has become an integral part of humanity, with over 3.9 billion users.

Its potential has been exploited as a tool for communication, entertainment and information-gathering. Experts have identified young people as the epicentre of driving internet usage and tech culture. However, the explosion of internet growth has been threatened by online bullying, phishing and scamming, among others.

"As an organization helping to expand access to technology education, we understand the importance of online safety for young people and this is why we are launching the Virtually Safe project to provide young people with the skills and give them the confidence to engage safely and smartly while using the internet," founder of Teens Can Code, Isaac Damian Ezirim commented about the goal of Virtually Safe.

"For many of today’s children, they were born with phones and internet access in their hands and they are comfortable surfing the web and we can’t take it away from them, therefore, the onus lies on us as individuals, governments and organizations to provide a framework that ensures children have equal and equitable access to the internet along with a safer online environment for young people.”

Also lending her voice, Teens Can Code’s Program Manager, Rachael Balogun explained, “Our mission is to empower online users especially young people with the information they need to keep themselves safe and secure online while encouraging a culture of online responsibility, and this is why the Virtually Safe project is so important, young people should be empowered to safely exploit the benefits of the Internet.

The Virtually Safe initiative, according to Balogun has other projects on the pipeline and will launch soon including a mobile app and a toll free number to support young people’s digital wellbeing.

She revealed, “a report will be launched soon on an ongoing research on young people’s online behaviour, risks and vulnerability to harm.

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