At AMNETT workshop, internet experts worry over cybercrime
By PHILIP NWOSU
New tricks on how to stay afloat online without hitch was the centre of discussion at the African Media Network (Amnett) workshop that held in partnership with The Sun Publishing Limited recently.
With the focus on Optimizing new Media Opportunities and Managing Electronic Vandalism, many participants said that the workshop was timely, especially with the way many Nigerians log in and out of the internet, but with little or no knowledge of how to stay safe.
The Internet which had existed for some time now is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite to link devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies.
This linkage had been made more active and popular, especially with the coming of the social media and the introduction of other means of communication using the internet.
Expert at the African Media Network workshop described the internet as a revolution that needs to be cautiously handled as it will destroy the society is ot properly understood and made use of.
This new revolution and how to handle it cautiously was the focus of the discussion at the event, with many online professionals providing tips on how to stay online and stay out of trouble.
According to Kufre Ekanem, the Corporate Affairs Adviser at Nigerian Breweries Plc, social media is growing at its fastest rate in developing countries; people are connected on a global scale and casually participate in each other’s lives through online observation.
He said that something as simple as ‘liking’ a brand on facebook can spread virally very quickly throughout the various social media channels for the benefit of such brand.
And when brands go viral according to many experts, the brands stand to benefit in terms of profit and getting more mileage.
For example, when Hillary Clinton did the “Whip and the Nae Nae” on Ellen? The “Whip and the Nae Nae” was the hit for 2016 and to date has reached over 1 billion views. Another example is the out-of-the-blue success of Fidget Spinners, the newest toy that children all over America are going crazy for.
Indeed all forms of communication have been impacted by the advent of social media, with the medium reaching people directly, Ekanem insists that private persons, business, business to business, business to consumer or even peer to peer communications can all be enhanced with the coming of the social media.
“Millions of people review products and services directly via social media sites using video on new media platform, which in many cases are shared and disseminated via various other social media,” he noted
For Ekanem, the public increasingly look to social media to find reviews on various products and services to help them make buying decision, adding that companies provides products to popular social media channels .
The social media and the internet has become the new revolution and has changed the way people do business, indeed, news has become everybody’s business because of the social media as people with their smart phones can take photos of event and circulated same on facebook or any of the social media platforms.
The revolution on the internet also brought blogs and blogging and has become a good pass time for some persons who are not journalists and who feel like reporting events as they happen.
This development makes it imperative for government to come out with a legislation regulating online publishing and securing users online.
According to the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Onofiok Luke was a special guest at the event in Lagos, there is the need to highlight the position of the law on cyber bullying and online harassment.
He said social media have shaped contemporary politics, institutional governance and even corporate culture, adding that the arm of the media has strongly influenced, to a large extent, the outcomes of political and economic bargains across the continent.
The lawmaker said that it was against this revolutionary entrance of the social media that leaders and information managers must consider the potencies and the potentials of the new media as an instrument for change and take advantage of them
Onofiok said that the Nigerian Press Council (NPC) should be encouraged to work towards ensuring that the code of ethics for practicing journalists in the country updated to include certain salient conducts especially on the use of social media.
The chief executive of the African Media Network, Mr. Aniekan John Umanah at his opening address of the event tasked Nigerian media practitioners and especially those with bias for the new media to take seriously the new rave as it has come to stay.
Umanah insisted that the earlier Nigerians developed interest in the new media sector the better for the economy that relies mainly on proper information and its dissemination.
Umannah told Daily Sun that, “the idea of the workshop was to see how we can stimulate the consciousness and thinking of our people towards the best use of the new media to optimize what we do and bring best benefit for our organizations.
“We need to see how the social media would be turned to a very positive element of the society and see how we can manage influences that are affecting businesses, communities and families.”
Media executives present, including some operators of new media tasked media practitioners in Nigeria, including public and private sector operators, to develop more interest in it.
The Cyber Crime Act, enacted by the Nigerian government in 2015 to regulate the sector as it pertains to abuses and best practice was brought to the front burner by Basil Udotai, a lawyer and and expert on cyber crime law.
The training that also attracted state governments such those of Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa and others who were represented by government officials.