“The concern for internet safety is a global phenomenon, especially as those who never had access are increasingly being connected through their computers, mobile phones and other devices. While the prevalence of social networking websites, online communities and internet-enabled processes should be great news for individual, corporate and government users, the concern for safety – and worry about cybercrime – remains a major source of concern. A 2008 Internet Crime report listed Nigeria as number three on the list of the worlds top ten online crime spots; and the prevalence of cybercrime among a sizeable number of young Nigerians goes to show the need for immediate concern, especially with the recent boom in mobile service provision and online payment platforms in Nigeria.
The Microsoft Internet Safety, Security and Privacy Initiative for Nigeria (MISSPIN) seeks to raise awareness through a social campaign that involves various projects. The social campaign, sponsored by Microsoft within the framework of the Unlimited Program’s Internet Safety Initiative will direct the spotlight to the issue of internet safety while also providing a platform for other industry players to work together. Phase 1 of the campaign involved numerous activities, including sensitization workshops, a musical concert (The Alternative, essay/quiz competitions, appointment of campaign ambassadors and more. Phase 2 of the campaign has now commenced, and amongst the listed activities are the Musical Collaboration Project, Concert/Sticker/Radio Campaigns and Rehabilitation Project. These will help sensitize the public and re-direct the energies of participants of cyber crime to positive use.
The rehabilitation program will allow twenty-five (25) young people who have been involved in cybercrime activities to benefit from training (life skills, employability skills, I.T., etc), mentorship and paid internships. They will serve as role models for other youth who have been wondering about their future beyond online criminal involvements. The musical collaboration project, which is led by one of the campaign ambassadors, Ohimai Amaeze, enjoys the benefit of having Cobhams Asuquo as producer, and an impressive line-up of artistes who have volunteered to support the MISSPIN project: Banky W, MI, Modele, Omawumi and Rooftop MCs! The song and video were released on February 3, 2010. Watch out for our sticker campaign that will present messages that resonate with the population that will best benefit from MISSPIN. One of the stickers will announce, “Maga no need pay, I go hard for ma dough!”