The Gambia Cyber Security Alliance, in collaboration with PURA conducted a three-day training on cyber security measures, cybercrimes and online bullying for students and civil societies at the SBEC international school grounds.
With the theme personal security is public security, the training brought together at least 35 participants and it was hoped it equips them on cybercrimes, securing data and prevent hacking.
Bakary Njie, president of Internet Society, Gambia chapter, said the internet can provide lot of opportunities that people can use and develop themselves and their countries.
However, he said the net has its negative impacts on society.
He said: “We are not secure. We live in a very vulnerable environment and if we underrate cyber security then we are doom.”
He said the issue of cybercrimes is alarming “because lots of people are bullied online through the sharing of content that is horrible and unethical.”
He added that in the course of securing the cyber space, the government can do a lot to come up with strategies but said it is difficult to implement these strategies as lot of evidence is needed.
Lamin Darboe, executive director, National Youth Council, said creating awareness on cyber security is key because 90% of young people spend more than 12 hours on their phones.
He said: “In-as-much as we want to be secure physically, we will also want to be secure in the cyber world, and in doing so we have to understand the dynamics and the security vulnerability in the cyber world.”
He added that Gambians especially are not adequately informed on the risk and vulnerabilities of sharing data about themselves, thus exposing themselves to potential threats.
According to Darboe, countries that have gone through the digital revolution, are “seriously concern” about their privacy online, “because they know the implication of those actions in the digital platforms.”
Amadou A Bah, the founder and president of The Gambia Cyber Security Alliance, said since the establishment of the organisation in 2016, they have been embarking on creating awareness in schools and communities about online safety.
“We received 14 cases of online bullying and security. We were able to tackle seven cases and five cases are being investigated.”
President Bah said the aim of the training was also to create awareness on the negatives of social media, and how to use the internet to add to national development and not to defame people.