Kenyan Edutainment firm Akili network has launched an initiative that focuses on teenage cybersecurity.
Kenya’s teens and pre-teens are one of the most vulnerable population segment that is prone to abuse by cybercriminals.
Thus, Akili Network has taken initiative to reduce their exposure by speaking to teens aged between 10 and 19, in a language that they understand to educate them about the dangers of cybercrime.
It teaches them about trolling, phishing, protecting their online identities, cyberbullying and mobile money fraud.
Numbering about 12 million and constituting just over 22 percent of the national population, Akili Network President Jesse Solei said that the segment was too important to be left on their own, with cybercriminals targeting them due to their naivety, as they increasingly access internet-enabled devices such as smartphones and computers.
“The rate at which the teens’ access to the Internet is rising and it is only a matter of time before those especially living in urban areas all do. We need to ensure that they know what to do to avoid falling victim to cybercriminals in case they are attacked or encounter a possible bad actor,” said Soleil.
He explained that young people, particularly those of secondary school-going age were becoming digital natives at an exponential rate and the onus lay on parents, teachers and guardians to ensure they experience the internet in a safe manner.
“There is a major gap in Kenya when it comes to addressing teenagers as they tend to have a disparate relationship with their parents,” said Soleil.
This, Mr Soleil added, is a driving factor behind the firm’s new production titled Flash Squad, an educational sitcom set in a school environment, with a young relatable cast.
The show provides valuable lessons on various relatable aspects of teens’ lives. Keeping in mind teenagers’ short attention span, each episode is cut to just seven minutes – long enough yet also sufficiently brief to deliver the desired impact, fun and memorability.
Ideally, Flash Squad attempts to fill that gap that has left children exposed to a risky environment with potentially difficult situations to navigate by using relatable characters, real-life situations, and a good dose of comedy to help navigate the risks they will face and undesirable encounters, while still enjoying the Internet safely and confidently.