The biggest challenge for young Nigerians in the digital age, by Rotimi Onadipe –
Cybercrime is a crime perpetrated via electronic communication networks, in particular the Internet. This threat is widespread among young people between the ages of 14 and 21 and has caused untold damage to the image of Nigeria. Cybercrime can be perpetrated in a number of ways, such as phone calls, internet calls, sending fraudulent e-mails with ‘get-rich-quick’ proposals to lure unsuspecting victims, and so on.
The most common type of cybercrime is perpetrated through email. In most cases it is a marriage proposal, unclaimed fund, donation, lottery, help, windfall, transaction notification bank or credit alert, etc. more to increase their chances of achieving their goals.
Young people are proverbially called the leaders of tomorrow, but how can they be true leaders when engaging in various types of cybercrime at a young age?
It is very sad that the family members of most of the cybercriminals are very happy with their illegal activities. Due to the economic situation in the country, most parents of cybercriminals have decided to act like nothing is wrong with what their children are doing because of the benefits they get from their ill-gotten wealth. Their excuse is that the high rate of unemployment and poverty in Nigeria leads their children to illegal activities.
Some parents invite clerics, family members and neighbors to celebrate with them and organize special prayer sessions for their children who have made huge sums of money through internet fraud. Others go further and prepare spells for their children to escape justice if they are arrested or brought to justice to stand trial. Some parents even justify illegal acts by saying “they reap the rewards of parenthood”.
This threat has caused untold damage to the image of Nigeria and many countries around the world. A study by a research organization found that Nigerian scams cost the UK economy at least £ 150million a year. The point is that the cost to society goes beyond the mere loss of money. Some victims have attempted suicide; many houses were destroyed and many businesses collapsed.
Other findings have also revealed that some countries are losing at least $ 36 million a year to Nigerian crooks. Another research from Cybersecurity Ventures indicates that cybercrime will cost the global economy $ 6.1 trillion per year by 2021.
However, cybercrime is not limited to men; some women are also in the illegal act. They usually start by sending their nude photos to unsuspecting victims, after which they develop them into Advance Fee Fraud, all in the name of unemployment and poverty.
The bewildering question: is cybercrime the solution to unemployment and poverty in Nigeria? The answer is, of course, no. “
Here are some safety tips we can adopt to reduce cybercrime among young Nigerians in today’s digital age:
We should all have a total change of heart by having the fear of God in our hearts and believing that one day we will meet our Creator to give him an account of how we have spent our lives.
Religious and non-governmental organizations should always organize programs to sensitize young people and society in general on the need to have the fear of God in their hearts.
Parents shouldn’t spoil their children who come home with different items they haven’t bought for them. They should investigate how they got the items.
Parents should always pray for their children and advise them to be content with what they have.
Governmental and non-governmental organizations should encourage young people in their talents through skills training programs.
Young Nigerians should be optimistic about the situation in the country. They should avoid believing that “Nigeria can never improve”.
The government should tackle the problems of poverty and unemployment by creating more jobs and providing subsidized loans to unemployed young people.
Young people also need to realize that cybercrime has repercussions that could destroy their future.
Governmental and non-governmental organizations should always create awareness campaigns at all levels to make the general public aware of the dangers attributed to cybercrime and preventive measures.
The SIM card registration program put in place by the National Communication Commission (NCC) has really helped a lot in reducing the rate of cybercrime in Nigeria. More programs of this nature should be introduced by the government.
* Onadipe wrote via [email protected]