PERMANENT Secretary of the Ministry of National Security and Correctional Services, Edmond Sikua has warned the public to be wary of internet spams and cyber related crimes.
He also urged members of the public, youths and students, relevant organisations including the police to be cooperative in helping curb this emerging internet related crime.
The permanent secretary issued the warning when he launched the ‘Cyber Safety Pasifika’ at King George Sixth School yesterday.
The launching marks Solomon Islands first ever cyber safety initiative joining 20 other pacific countries in the region.
Mr Sikua said this growing cyber-crime issue is within our means of accessing internet and it is our responsibility to stop it.
“My message to you now is never send money when requested through internet,” he said.
“Never give in your personal identification details through the internet.
“Always be aware of what your children are viewing on the internet and most importantly who they are talking to online and ensure to think twice before you post anything on the internet as it can be made public.”
Mr Sikua said the Cyber Safety Pasifika program is intended to increase awareness on the dangers of cyber-crimes and it is important that cooperation at all levels be needed.
“It is important that the police, other law enforcement agencies and the community need to work more smartly and cooperatively to protect our people from crimes associated with the internet,” Mr Sikua said.
He stressed that today’s mode of technology using internet is an emerging thing in the region and is making the world smaller than imagined.
“Today, we live in a world of modern technologies.
“Technology that brings the world to our finger tips.
“Technology that make the world become smaller and smaller that we can now see what is happening in a far country.
“Technology that makes us communicate more efficiently and effectively.
“Technology that offers opportunities. Technology that brings universities and colleges to our lounge rooms and technology that seems to offer an easy life.”
But he pointed out that these same technologies may also offer another side of the coin that impacts on our communities.
“The likes of cyber bullying, online sex offences, cyber predators and grooming by travelling sex offenders are real.
“More so we know of it as a means used to make criminal operations much more advanced and sophisticated.
“This launching of the Cyber Safety Pasifika is a significant step and timely, given the rapid increase use of internet across the country.
“This will surely help identify the problems before starting off and foremost to protect children and vulnerable members of the community from crimes over the internet.
“This however, will require community support in getting messages out to the people,” said the permanent secretary.
King George Sixth student representative, Ngarisi Sigamanu emphasised the importance of the Cyber Safety Pasifika launching and reiterated the need for the collective effort on this fight.
“Though the problem is yet to happen in the Solomon Islands, it is important that we are aware and prepare well ahead.
“As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure,” she said.
By BRADFORD THEONOMI