‘How Internet users can be protected from hackers, cyber criminals in Nigeria’
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that enlightenment and awareness will be key in protecting the over 114 million Internet users in the country against hackers.The NCC noted that where consumers are informed on the dangers of cybercrimes, as well as learn and observe skills gained through such awareness, they will be protected while on the Internet.
Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB), Mrs. Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, stated this during the 47th edition of the NCC’s Consumer Town Hall Meeting (CTM), a monthly regulator, operators and consumer engagement forum for the grassroots, held in Uzuakoli, Abia State, on Friday.In the report made available to journalists yesterday, the NCC further called for concerted efforts among stakeholders to curb the menace of cybercrime.
Onwuegbuchulam said the tripartite programme is one of the initiatives of the Commission to bring together consumers, network operators and the regulator to identify and discuss salient issues bordering on the telecoms industry with a view to jointly providing solutions to identify challenges.The director stressed the need for the consumers to show interest in getting constant enlightenment and be conscious of fraudulent tendencies by some Internet users while online.
According to her, represented at the forum by the Head, Information and Reference Unit at the Commission, Alhaji Ismail Adedigba, the theme of the event had been carefully chosen for deliberations to effectively educate and inform the telecoms consumers on the threats and modus operandi of cyber criminals in the industry and suggest ways by which the consumers can be protected.She disclosed that as at February this year, there were over 114 million Internet users in the country with over 63 million of them accessing broadband services on 3G and 4G networks.
She said the need to constantly educate is further underscored by the large number of Nigerians online with even more to come online as the Commission intensifies efforts towards implementing it’s various initiatives aimed at deepening connectivity across the nooks and crannies of Nigeria. Onwuegbuchulam noted that the liberalisation of the telecoms industry in 2001 led to an unprecedented growth in the usage and dependence on internet-based solutions, services and applications, stressing that as Internet is being used for legitimate, positive engagements, some individuals also use it for criminal activities in the cyber space.
Besides, she, however, stated that aside the continuous consumer enlightenment programmes, such as CTM being organised by the NCC, the Commission had also initiated a process to establish an Internet Industry Code of Practice for Internet Service.Meanwhile, the representative of the Consumer Advocacy Group, (Wheel of Hope), Jide Abdulazeez, who presented the lead paper, called on telecoms consumers and other necessary stakeholders to collaborate with the Commission in combating cybercrimes in the country.
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