Don’t give out personal details on social Media-Cyber Security Expert

Some of the media participants at the UNICEF forum at Fumesua including Adu-Gyamera of Daily Graphic, Michael Ofosu-Afriyie of the Ghanaian Observer newspaper and James Appiakorang Jnr. of Today News paper

Dr Nana Kofi Annan, Child Online Protection Lead has cautioned parents, guardians as well as the public not to give out too much personal information in the social media settings.

The sharing of these personal details, the cyber security expert said gives fraudsters and criminals ammunition to harm them and their families.

Addressing news editors and media practitioners from the Bono and Ashanti Regions in Fumesua, a town within the Ejisu Juaben Municipality at a forum which was organised by UNICEF last Friday, the security expert stressed that many have been duped, raped and suffered burglary because they shared traceable personal information on social media.

According to him, many people the public get exposed to on Facebook or any other social media handle sometimes hide behind pseudo names to commit crime.

”There are many who you regard as friends on social media but in actual fact are fraudsters and criminals and because we open up to them they get information to harm us and our families”, Dr Annan revealed.

On his part, Mr Abiaw Michael, Senior Programmes Manager at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection urged the media to always protect children in their reportage.

He asked that on no condition should the face or identities of children and minors be revealed in conventional media spaces or in new media platforms.

Mr Abiaw stressed that in cases where media practitioners would have to speak to children or minors to get information on stories they may be working on they should get the consent of a guardian and the child or minor himself.

In all situations, the Gender Officer urged the media to guard and protect the rights of  children and the vulnerable in society.

”It is important that as media practitioners you strive to protect children and the vulnerable as you do your best to use the right terminologies when covering stories on children so you do not give them up to be abused, discriminated against or stigmatized”, Mr Abiaw charged.

Giving the welcome address earlier in the day, Kingsley E. HOPE, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) asked that the media seek avenues to study to know the subjects they are covering.

According to him, the secret to effective reportage or news gathering is for the person to have in-depth knowledge of the subject he or she is writing on.

Mr Hope said many media practitioners have gotten their facts wrong on stories because they do not read to get the needed information.

With the advent of online and internet reporting, the Ashanti GJA chair said most practitioners have thrown caution to the wind and have been denting the image of people with careless abandon.

”We will be taken serious as a people or practitioners when we religiously follow the dictates of our profession by adhering to strict ethics that enjoins our practice”, the Ashanti GJA chair stressed.

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