Young people are urged to use online platforms responsibly

Magarini County Deputy Commissioner Peter Thiong’o urged young people to use the internet responsibly to avoid being duped, radicalized or recruited into terrorist formations.

Mr. Thiong’o told young people to use the internet instead to get online jobs and earn a living without resorting to criminal activities.

He was speaking outside the Marafa chief’s office in Magarini sub-county during celebrations marking this year’s Safer Internet Day, a day observed on the second day of the second week of February each year with the aim to provide a safer and better Internet where every user uses the Internet responsibly and without their data being disclosed.

The celebrations were organized by various Ministries of ICT, Innovation and Youth in collaboration with technology company Huawei and Close the Gap Kenya, a social enterprise that aims to bridge the digital divide.

Huawei, through its Computer for Schools program, also runs a digital computer training program for trucks at the Magarini sub-county headquarters in Marafa town, where young people learn basic computer skills, jobs in line and safe use of the Internet.

The administrator said that even though the Internet has revolutionized communication in the world, it has exposed many young people to security issues due to a lack of knowledge on how to properly use communication gadgets such as the cell phone and laptop computers.

He told young people not to be influenced by politicians to use the internet to spread hate speech and violence, saying it amounted to cybercrime and those involved would be treated according to the law.

He urged them to verify all information with relevant government agencies before posting it online to stay safe and avoid breaking the law.

Ms. Francisca Muema from Close the Gap Kenya lamented that many young people are deceived online through identity theft.

“A key issue, particularly in the coastal region, is that of radicalization where young people are recruited from the grassroots to join illegal groups,” she said.

“As we celebrate Safer Internet Day, we urge our young people to be enthusiastic in working closely with agencies to ensure that any information they share online has been verified.”

Mr. Ian Korir, who coordinates the Computer for Schools program at Huawei’s office in Kenya, said his company is using the mobile digital truck program to impart digital skills to young people, including safe internet use.

“So far, we have been able to train 60 students in basic and intermediate digital skills, which has enabled them to learn how to protect themselves on the Internet and carry out online work through the Ajira program run by the Ministry of ICT and Innovation. and youth affairs,” Mr. Koris said.

He said the digital truck program has already covered 15 counties since its launch in 2019 and aims to reach all counties to give young people in rural areas the opportunity to learn digital skills.

Happy Mkambe Nzala, a beneficiary of the digital truck, said she learned many digital skills that would enable her to better manage her internet cafe business and be safe while serving her customers.

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