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Awareness and Prevention of the Perils of Internet Abuse and Addiction in the Last Days

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Internet abuse

By Rotimi Onadipe

Internet abuse and internet addiction are strong weapons that the enemy known as Satan had planned to use to steal, kill and destroy the glorious future of many people in these last days.

It is no longer news in our society that we have multiple cases of children of the same parents having sex with each other, people having sex with animals, rape cases involving minors have also increased tremendously.

It is very sad that youths these days are desperate to become billionaires even while they are still in primary, secondary or tertiary institutions because they believe this can be achieved through the internet. Internet abuse, particularly internet fraud is now the order of the day among youths in today’s technology age.

What is internet abuse?

Internet abuse can be defined as improper use of the internet. e.g. internet fraud, sexting, online impersonation, cyberbullying, identity theft etc

Internet addiction refers to excessive use of the internet that is detrimental to the user’s daily obligations. e.g. online gaming or gambling addiction, cybersex or pornography addiction, online relationship addiction, compulsive web surfing etc.

Internet abuse or internet addiction has no respect for age, status or academic qualification. No matter how highly placed you are, you can be a victim of internet abuse or internet addiction and this may have negative effects on almost all aspects of your life.

Internet abuse or addiction will take you longer than you want to stay and cost you more than you want to pay.

Who is an internet addict?

How you feel when you are not online answers the question.

Practical and sensitive questions about internet abuse and addiction:

Your answers to these questions will give you a clear picture of an internet addict.

Do you spend more time than you really intend on the internet?

Do you feel restless or moody when you can’t go online?

How do you feel when your phone battery is down for some time?

How do you react when you misplace your mobile phone?

Can you do this without checking your phone or social media account in a day?

What exactly do you do online and does it add any value to your life in any way?

Do you spend as much time on the word of God the same way you do on social networking sites?

Does your internet usage serve as an escape from problems or relief from a bad mood?

Finally, have you made repeated but unsuccessful attempts to stop or control your internet use?

Your answer to the above questions will help you to know if you are addicted to the internet or not.

How to overcome the danger of internet abuse and addiction in these last days:

  1. Keep your heart pure. Everything we do in life originates from the heart. The word of God in Proverb 4:23 says “Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life”. In order to keep your heart pure, the first step is to surrender your heart to God sincerely.
  2. Spend more time to pray on your heart and dedicate it to God every day because that is the source of everything you do in life.
  3. You must be conscious of the fact that internet abuse and internet addiction are strong weapons that Satan is using in these last days to steal, kill, destroy the future of people and prevent them from getting to heaven.
  4. Make sure you always observe your quiet time before you check your phone or social media account every day.
  5. You must be informed that there are different kinds of people with different missions on the internet. i.e. Some people have good intentions while others are searching for victims.
  6. You should have a definite time for your internet usage every day and write all you want to do in a paper. i.e. If it is one hour, make sure you don’t exceed one hour and don’t do anything different from what you wrote down. It is more advisable to let all your contacts know that you have a definite time for internet usage.
  7. Always make a record of what you have benefited from your online activities.
  8. Reduce the number of your telephone lines and social media accounts.
  9. Don’t be desperate. Make sure you are contented with what you have.
  10. When you cannot help yourself, contact a counsellor before it is too late.

Technology

WhatsApp Rolls Out Self-Messaging Feature

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WhatsApp Self Messaging Feature

By Adedapo Adesanya

Popular instant messaging service, WhatsApp, has started rolling out a feature that allows users to chat with themselves or save messages. Sending messages to one’s own account can be a way to keep a piece of information easily accessible, right next to other WhatsApp conversations.

Called Message Yourself, the feature lets users send notes, reminders and shopping lists to themselves on WhatsApp.

On Monday, the Meta-owned instant messaging app announced the rollout of the new self-messaging feature that will reach all its Android and iPhone users in the coming weeks.

Users will see their contact at the top of the contacts list on WhatsApp when they create a new chat. Tapping that contact will take them to the chat screen they can use to send messages to themselves.

Although the native feature to message oneself is new on WhatsApp, some users have already been using a workaround for some time. Users can already send messages to themselves using the app’s click to chat feature. Nonetheless, the new offering removes the additional steps that users need to self-chat using the wa.me URL.

Users can also pin their self-chat messages to the top of the conversation list if they don’t want to search for them in their widely polluted chats list.

Rival platform, Signal, already offers a feature called Note to Self that does much the same thing, though it is contained in the user’s contacts list rather than being available at the top.

Telegram also offers a similar feature called Saved Messages that lets users bookmark any important messages as well as save their notes and reminders that can be accessed in the future. Messages, once saved, can be accessed from the top of the chats screen. However, Telegram users initially need to access the feature by tapping the hamburger menu on Android or through the settings menu on iOS.

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Technology

MSMEs, Schools, Others to Benefit From N16.7bn Broadband Access Projects

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Broadband access projects

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Broadband access projects worth N16.7 billion aimed to accelerate the Nigeria digital economy efforts of the federal government are expected to be enjoyed by several organisations in the country.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Pantami, speaking at an event in Abuja recently, stated that those to benefit from the projects include Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), 18 universities, and six polytechnics from each of the six geopolitical zones in the country.

The Minister was at the unveiling of the projects being driven by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) at Transcorp Hilton.

He said the projects underscore the importance of broadband connectivity and access as central to the accomplishment of the targets of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030 for a digital Nigeria.

Mr Pantami, who was joined by the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Mohammed Bello, disclosed that the key infrastructure being provided for the projects comprises broadband infrastructure for tertiary institutions, broadband infrastructure for MSMEs, distribution of 6,000 e-pad tablets, in addition to the provision of broadband connectivity to 20 markets as a pilot.

He said the interest in supporting the MSMEs is justified by their current contribution of more than half of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, and now constitute 96.7 per cent of entire businesses in the country, and therefore, “any effort to develop our economy without bringing the such important sector into the equation will amount to efforts in futility.”

In their remarks, the Chairman of the NCC board, Mr Adeolu Akande, and the Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Mr Umar Danbatta, agreed that the projects would fast-track and enhance the ongoing efforts of the agency to deepen connectivity towards achieving the targeted broadband penetration of 70 per cent by 2025.

Mr Akande assured of the commitment of the commission in completing the projects, which will add the necessary fillip to achieving the major objectives spelt out in the NDEPS, 2020-2030, while Mr Danbatta said the organisation was determined to improve broadband penetration in the country.

He said the commission would promote digital skills acquisition to improve service delivery in education, commerce, healthcare, agriculture, finance, transportation, and governance, among others.

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Technology

ISSAN to Teach Practical Steps to Check Cyber-Attacks

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practical steps to check cyber-attacks

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

On Tuesday, November 29, 2022, individuals and businesses will receive practical steps to check cyber-attacks at the annual cyber security conference of the Information Security Society of Africa, Nigeria (ISSAN) themed Cyber Security Imperatives for Business – Practical Considerations.

The hybrid programme, which starts at 9 am, is open to public and private sectors, including large corporates, small and medium-scale enterprises, educational institutions, government agencies and all stakeholders that are impacted by the cyber-ecosystem in any way.

According to the president of ISSAN, Dr David Isiavwe, the conference, which members of the public can be part of via Zoom, will be devoted to further exposing the new threats and trends in the cyber security space and also offer practical steps on what businesses and individuals need to know and do to check the rising tide of the activities of cyber-criminals.

He observed that cyber attackers are getting more sophisticated globally, which is an aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, stressing that greater awareness must be created to minimize attacks on businesses that may result in losses by various organisations.

“There is an urgent need to evolve a strengthened cyber-security system in Nigeria because of the growing digitalisation of the country’s economic and social interactions as people now work from home and anyone with a smartphone could hop into cyberspace from anywhere and attack nation-states, organisations, and individuals. This means that the threat landscape has just expanded significantly across the borders of any organization or country.

“The first thing that ISSAN is doing is advocacy. We are engaging all key stakeholders to ensure that there is adequate and constant collaboration. Everybody must work together because the entire cyberspace is as secure as its weakest link,” Mr Isiavwe said.

Further, the ISSAN leader, who is also a General Manager at Ecobank, disclosed that highly experienced subject matter specialists had been assembled to provide further insights on how the ecosystem can be better protected, noting that large sums of money are usually at risk in every successful attack.

The keynote address will be delivered by the Director of Payment Systems Management at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Musa Itopa Jimoh and the Director of IT at the apex bank, Mrs Rakiya Mohammed.

The speakers include Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Digital Jewels Limited, Mrs Adedoyin Odunfa; Founder & CEO, Mint FT Innovative, Mr Similolu Akinnusi; Chief Information Security Officer, First Bank of Nigeria, Mr Harrison Nnaji and MD, Cybertech NX, Dr Austine Ohwobete.

Others are Managing Partner, Technology Advisors LLP, Basil Udotai, Esq; Group Head, Customer Fulfilment Centre, UBA, Mr Prince Ayewoh; Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Financial Services Limited, Mr Stanley Jacob; Sales Director (Africa), OneSpan Europe, Mr Nicholas Poire and Field CTO, OneSpan Europe, Mr Dan Mcloughin.

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