Alert on cyber threat
Barbadian children and parents have been warned that cyber predators are just a plane ride away.
The alert is coming from James Bynoe, the chief technology officer of Caribbean Cyber Security Centre (CCSC).
“Predators, if they make contact with, and feel they have a vulnerable kid, if they know where they are, the next step is to jump on a plane and go see that child. We need to understand that the Internet crosses borders and as a small country we are susceptible to people way beyond our borders,” Bynoe cautioned.
He was speaking at Ellerton Primary School yesterday where the CCSC launched the National Campaign For Internet Safety For Kids. He spoke about the component called “Think, Click, Surf” – a 24-hour Internet-based portal teaching children to be safe while using the internet.
Bynoe said over the last two years there had been a significant rise in the number of attacks all across the region. He revealed that there were more than 747 408 known cyber predators across the globe and the whereabouts of 100 000 of them were unknown.
“While everyone is focused on financial losses from a business perspective, there is a huge component that needs to be addressed as it relates to raising the awareness of children to the cyber criminal and cyber predator element,” he pointed out.
The cyber expert was also concerned about cyber bullying in circumstances where children were unable to handle the pressure and lost their lives as a result.
Member of Parliament for St George South Dwight Sutherland, who partnered with the CCSC to host the programme, said as the country expanded its Internet access, the risks must be considered.
“It is critically important that this be done in a socially responsible manner that recognizes the many Internet risks and threats facing our kids while they are online,” he said.
So far, Blackman and Gollop, St Judes, Workman’s and Ellerton primary schools have benefited from the 30-minute presentation. St Luke’s Brighton Primary is scheduled for later this week.
Chief technological officer of CCSC, Deon Olton, said even though parents constantly warned children about talking to strangers in the street, the young ones talked to strangers online all the time.
He told children that when they accepted friend requests from people they did not know, they risked being kidnapped and never being seen again.
He explained that posting their name, age, address and telephone number would leave them at risk.