Enthusiastic about sharing knowledge on internet safety and digital skills through his consultancy work and advocacy, Nget Moses is working to promote digital rights and educate users about online privacy during the information age in Cambodia.
Moses’ journey to becoming a digital security advocate started while he was working in the civil society and human rights-related fields. His professional experience and personal interest lead him to become a digital security specialist working to spread digital knowledge and improve cyber hygiene in Cambodia where malicious activities like defacement, phishing, hacking, and email hijacking are common.
Focus has partnered with KampumEra to speak with Moses and learn more about his work to navigate the double-sided modern digital world.
1. Why did you start working to promote digital security in Cambodia?
It was an interesting journey for me to start working in this field. When I was a teen, I was exposed to the internet for fun and used it to prank my friends with my brother. Back in 2009, when I was working in the media industry, digital security was still a new concept in the Kingdom and it was through my experience working with one human rights organization where I came across it.
Having experienced working in the media industry and human rights organizations for almost a decade, I realized that the digital world has a great impact on our society and human lives. So I intentionally started to indulge myself and self-learn more about this interesting area until I got an opportunity to work as an ICT manager creating security policy and working closely with digital experts to promote digital literacy to the civil society’s workers and local people. It is my passion to promote digital literacy and digital rights to the public. The Internet and communication technologies offer numerous opportunities for promoting the right to freedom of opinion and expression, but it also comes along with the challenges of manipulation of social media, identity theft, and fraud. In this regard, it is important to take this into good practice because no one should be taken advantage of using technology.
2. How has this work changed your life and the community?
This career has not only helped to broaden my hard skills but also my soft skills have improved to another level because it requires more than technical ability to master this area. Importantly, It makes me happy when I help people who have encountered digital issues and it is my privilege to give back to the community what I’ve learned so far.
If I reflect on the community and people I have been working with, over the last 5 or 6 years, they have improved their knowledge and know-how to protect themselves when there is an attack or who they can turn to when they face an issue. So behavior change and the improved understanding of their privacy and digital security are the changes that I witnessed.
3. What obstacles did you face in completing this work?
First of all, you need to keep updated with the trend of technical information because it keeps moving and changing almost every second. Keeping yourself informed and staying connected with local and international circles is important. Also, sometimes we need to deal with the misconception of in-house resources or local experts that people tend to question and undervalue our ability to do this work. So we need to put more effort and spend more time convincing people to take our advice and build trust. That’s why creative management and problem-solving skills are also a must to complete this work smoothly and effectively.
Digital platforms can be used as a modern weapon that opportunists use to provoke misinformation, psychological harm, societal harm, and other negative impacts by stealing sensitive data and causing damage we often tend to overlook. Since we are living in the digital age, educating people on common threats is a necessity to tackle malicious intent and the promotion of digital hygiene for the community as a whole.
4. What are the issues that prevent the community and youth from seeing the value and participating in activities with you?
One of the common issues is people usually think that everything related to technology and digital is way too complicated and too technical to learn and practice. This myth has locked people away from the preventive usage of technology. And by nature or design, from my experience working in this field, people don’t really care about their safety or digital security until something happens to them. It’s far from their mind, only when it is a need or until they face a problem do they start to take it seriously. This is totally in contrast to the principle of digital security where you need to take precautions, not wait until something happens.
5. In your experience, what can young people do to bring about positive change?
Living in the digital age is double-edged, and it depends on you. Changing your way of thinking and learning to understand digital security is a start. It is important to take action and be proactive by doing things like not using fake or unlicensed products, making a habit of using strong passwords, and other steps that you can apply. Another important thing is to share what you know and your skill with people if needed. Since we are living in this era right now, we should take advantage of technology and information for the sake of self-improvement and the benefits of our community as a whole.
Last but not least, digital security is the best method to avoid exposing yourself to identity theft and fraud. It is important to protect your online identity, data, and other assets. Security threats and cyber-attacks have an impact on not only a personal but a societal and international level as well.
There is an ocean of digital information and security online, you can learn more from our local websites like Open Cyber Talk, Barcamp Phnom Penh, and follow the page of digital specialists like Nget Moses and Chy Sophat for updated knowledge.
This post is also available in: KH