Cyber Security of Children: Implications for Sub-Saharan Africa

Cyber Security of Children: Implications for Sub-Saharan Africa

Stephen M. Mutula (University of Botswana, Botswana)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-903-8.ch004
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Abstract

This author discusses issues and threats to children’s cyber security vis-à-vis access to useful children online literature and the implications for sub-saharan Africa. The author points out that whereas the benefits of online children literature are immense especially in Africa where there is paucity of print literature, increasing cyber security and crime targeting children is of growing concern to governments, school teachers, parents, and Internet service providers. The chapter observes that whereas the developed world has made attempts to put in place mechanisms and systems such as acceptable user policies and protection software to mitigate undesirable consequences of online insecurity to which children are the most vulnerable, Africa is lagging behind despite the pervading Internet on the continent. The author notes that censorship of online literature is not the panacea to cyber insecurity, but parents should work closely with teachers and service providers to find pragmatic ways of protecting children online. Africa could learn a lot from developed countries on how to balance between access to useful online information resources against the growing cyber crime targeting children. The author cautions that the future of online security with regard to children’s safety in cyberspace is bound to become more complex as technologies become more advanced and online predators evolve sophisticated ways to circumvent online security measures, calling for the development of a proactive security strategy to protect children online.

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