Secretary of the Department of Information and Communication Technology,  Mr. Steven Matainaho emphasises that  cyber safety is a key pillar in protecting online users, especially children under 18 years of age  and teenagers.

Mr Matainaho made these remarks during the  launch  of the Commemoration of Safer Internet Day 2022 at NICTA House,   Port Moresby  this morning. (Tuesday 8 February 2022).

“Cyber Safety is a key pillar in, not only the Digital Transformation policy but it reflected in NICTA’s recently launched corporate plan, the Department of ICT Corporate Plan and as a result, we have established a key cyber safety branch within the Information Division,” he added.

He emphasized that to make internet safer, it is now a joint effort from everyone.

He said in line with the Minister for Information and Communication Technology, Hon. Timothy Masiu’s directive under the Digital Transformation Policy, ICT Department has made a lot of changes, which has seen the recruitment of 31 employees recently and this shows the Minister’s vision and leadership in expanding the department’s interest in meeting some of the goals of its goals.

“We have expanded greatly to cover a wide range of functions in which we are defining ICT and one of which is Cyber Safety.”

“From the department, we are establishing Cyber Safety branch and we are working towards operationalizing it  in 2022.”

He added that this is the same unit that house the Cabinet endorsed Social Media Management Desk.

“We have a lot of work to do to make internet environment safer for online users as more than 85 percent  of our citizens are accessing internet through mobile phone and that brings out many challenges for us to work harder to ensure the safety of our citizens are protected when going online,” Secretary Matainaho stressed.

“I would like to thank the CEO for National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) and his staff for their consistent leadership in driving a safer internet awareness for a number of years now.”

He said for DICT, 2022 is the year to operationalized much of this work after going through a reform in 2020.

“In policy wing, we have also established the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit and I have instructed that we now start to look and work out how we can establish a baseline in the cyber safety space and we need to start looking at baseline figures and start identifying how we are progressing in our cyber safety effort,” he further stated.

Secretary Matainaho  said  that there are a lot of work to be done in the space of Cyber Safety and DICT is working closely with NICTA and members of the Safe Internet Committee to have more meetings and using the traditional mediums of communications to disseminate awareness and information out to the people.

He added , that it is a challenge for everyone as a team, as a sectors and those agencies that cross paths into the cyber space to do more awareness on Cyber Safety.

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