Police programme target cyber-safety

Monday May 22, 2017 Written by Published in Local
Senior Sergeant Nga Pouao says many children know how to get online through their mobile phones. 17051716 Senior Sergeant Nga Pouao says many children know how to get online through their mobile phones. 17051716

Police are conducting a cyber-safety programme in Rarotonga’s schools in a bid to protect young people from cybercrime.


Senior Sergeant Nga Pouao says: “We will go into schools and the community to advise people how to be safe when going online.”

Pouao attended a cybercrime training workshop in Canberra, Australia, as the Australian Federal Police try to make people around the region more aware of the dangers posed online.

He says: “Today technology is moving very fast.  For example mobile phones have access to the internet and Facebook.

“The laptop, the desk top, the iPad … all this tech is good but, at the same time, it can hurt you.

“Be careful about your personal details. Don’t give people your full name, date of birth, or account numbers - that information must be kept private.

“By releasing it hackers can get into your accounts and your identity can be stolen and you could become a victim.”

The senior sergeant says police have received positive feedback from teachers and the schools. One of the things police are telling school children is “to be careful of something that is too good to be true”.

It won’t be, he says.

“They are scammers who will try to take your bank account details to get your money and use it for themselves.”

Pouao says children should also be aware of their personal safety when communicating to people online.

“Be careful of people asking to be friends. Don’t communicate with them.

 “You have to be aware that you do not know who is on the other side.

“I was telling them about this 13-year-old who believed this online person was the same age. The sad end to the story was that it led to the end of the girl’s life.”

Police also want parents to know what their children are doing online.

Pouao says he is amazed at how young children – aged 8, 9 and 10 – know how to get on to the internet via their mobile phones.

“Parents have to know what their children are doing.

“Parents today don’t have the advanced technology compared with the kids. Mums and dads need to be aware and monitor their kids when they are going online.”

Pouao says police are being proactive on cybercrime prevention to try to avoid it becoming a problem as it is in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and New Zealand.

“At the moment I don’t see that we have gone beyond the red warning line. We don’t receive complaints about cybercrime. We are on a low ranking, but that could be because it is new and still developing.”

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