“Do you have an indecent photo of a child on your phone or on any electronic device? Taking, sharing, and threatening to share indecent or nude images of people, especially children online can cause you to be convicted and jailed for a period of up to ten years (10) years”. A crime such as sexual extortion (or sextortion) can cause one to be convicted and jailed for a period of up twenty-five (25) years

This was said by the Head of Capacity Building and Awareness Creation (CBAC) at the Cyber Security Authority (CSA), Mr. Alex Oppong, when he led a team from the Cyber Security Authority (CSA) to the National Mosque in Accra, for a sensitization program on cybersecurity, on Friday, March 8, 2022.

He said according to a January 2022 World Index report, Ghana is ranked 3rd on the list of countries that use social media the most. Unfortunately, despite the benefits that are obtained from the use of the internet, more time spent on it may lead to greater risks including blackmail, cyber bullying, sextortion, mobile money fraud and others.

Mr. Oppong informed the congregation about the passage of the Cyber Security Act 2020 (Act 1038) and the establishment of the Cyber Security Authority to regulate and promote cybersecurity activities in the country. He added that sections 62-66 of the Act criminalise offences against children online; “children are more susceptible to threats such as cyberbullying, exposure to indecent images and videos, cyberstalking, phishing attacks, and sextortion which affect their human rights online”.

Mr. Oppong advised the congregation and taught them some good cyber hygiene practices. He further urged parents to monitor the activities of their children whenever their children are online.

The National Mosque, which is the second largest mosque in West Africa. The Mosque’s administration team stated that the mosque has a maximum congregation capacity of fifteen thousand (15,000). It is situated at Kanda in Accra and is the centre of Friday Jumu’ah prayers for nearby Muslim communities in Nima, Kanda, Maamobi, and Accra New Town. It hosts the office of the National Chief Imam and is the venue of national religious activities.

In a related development, Mr. Oppong and his team also visited the Madina Central Mosque on Friday 15th April 2022, for a similar sensitisation programme on the use of the internet and cybersecurity.

Mr. Alex Oppong educated the congregation just before usual prayers, about the Cyber Security Act 2020, and the establishment of the Cyber Security Authority (CSA) to regulate cybersecurity activities in the country.

He educated them on the mandate of the CSA, cybersecurity/Cybercrime, and provided them contact details of the CSA’s cybersecurity/cybercrime incident reporting points of contact and stated that Ghanaians can use the points of contact to report cybercrimes and to also receive advise on cybersecurity matters.

The Madina Central Mosque is one of the largest mosques in Ghana, located in the La-Nkwantanang-Madina Municipal Assembly. All sermons are amplified by a loudspeaker that reaches not only the congregation of the 400 presents at the mosque but also, according to the mosque’s officials, seventy-nine thousand, eight hundred and thirty-two (79,832) residents within that Muslim-community for the Friday Jumu’ah prayers.