The Public Education Unit of the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) has rolled out schools’ outreach programme dubbed, ‘Prohibited Cyber Activities’ for 50 public Senior High Schools (SHSs) in the Greater Accra Region.
According to the Head of Public Education Unit, Jacqueline Avotri, under the programme, which started last month, more than 1,000 students from seven Senior High Schools (SHSs), which include Wesley Grammar, Accra Wesley Girls, Accra Girls and Accra Technical Training College had benefitted.
Addressing students of Holy Trinity Cathedral Senior High School (HOTCASS) in Accra on Tuesday, the Head of Education, indicated that EOCO, as part of efforts to educate the general public on the negative effects of financial, economic and other related offences, had rolled out the programme to advise SHS students who in most cases form the vulnerable group.
“Cyber crime which is a result of the negative use of the internet is a criminal activity carried out by the use of electronic devices such as computers, mobile devices, among others, using varying strategies to cheat unsuspecting people,” she indicated.
Mrs. Avotri continued that cyber offences are punishable by the laws of the country and offenders risk serving prison terms of up to five years or more if found culpable.
“The internet has indeed made the world a smaller place to live in for its users; however there are quite a number of challenges associated with its use for which one must know and avoid,” she said.
Mentioning the local names of some cyber crimes such as “Sakawa,” 419, Yahoo Yahoo, Spam and Phishing, the Head of Education Unit appealed to the students to resist the temptation of teaming up with people to engage in cyber crime, adding that it is no longer a challenge for the law enforcement agents to arrest such offenders.
“Cyber crime might appear lucrative, however, the consequences, when caught, are huge embarrassment, disruption in education, loss of credibility and bad public image,” she remarked.
The Head of Science Department at HOTCASS, Boaz Hayford said the students would gain a lot from the programme which they can transfer to their peers.
By Solomon Ofori