By Stanley Iwuoha
The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi says the transformation of Nigeria into a leading digital economy will remain a dream unless we make our cyberspace safe.
The DG made the observation in a webinar organised by the Agency to commemorate the cyber security awareness month.
The webinar, which was part of the events lined up to create awareness on cyber security for the month addressed topics on ” Cyber Security Controls and Precautions for Parents and Kids; ” The Worth of Your Digital Identity”; and “Phishing: SMS and Email”.
Mallam Abdullahi who was represented by the Director, Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions, Dr Usman Abdullahi maintained that heightened use of digital platforms has critically enhanced productivity at all levels; be it individual, governments, organizations, multinationals, corporate entities and civil society groups hence the need to canvass for a secured cyberspace.
Mallam Abdullahi declared that “ineffective cybersecurity coordination could lead to a devastating blow on the positives of the digital economy,”, while noting that the efforts of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy at securing the cyberspace for Nigeria as enshrined in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy.
According to him, the cardinal objective for this year’s programme therefore is to give Nigerians every available clue to avoid the tricks of the criminals, and where it inevitably occurs, report to appropriate authorities adding many Nigerians have fallen victims to cybercriminals largely due to lack of awareness on what to do and avoid, while on cyberspace.
The DG, who, described the webinar as apt, stated that protection of digital presence in a highly connected world remains the greatest measure to ensure safety online.
He advised Nigerians to keep their personally identifiable information a secret as is the first step in staying safe, and free from the unwholesome practices of the cybercriminals.
Also speaking at the webinar, the founder of DIGISS LCC, Mr. Mobolaji Moyosore urged Nigerians to be wary of trust exploitation as it has been identified as one of the ways cyber criminals adopt to defraud unsuspecting victims.
While encouraging the use of strong password as first means to adopt in order to be saved online, Mr. Moyosore advised that people should ensure two or more factors authentication to ensure safety.
“No system or network is saved but people should first ensure adequate measures at protecting themselves. The usage of free WiFi for banking transaction should be discouraged,” he said.
In his remarks, the NITDA Director, Cyber Security Department, Dr. Dimie Wariowei informed that the objective of the sensitization is to teach Nigerians what to do and what not to do online.
He said, “The flair for online transaction and impact of COVID-19 have increased level of IT adoption which makes everyone prone to be a victim. We urged you to apply all the messages you received here and transmit to others because cyber security awareness is everyone function,’ he advised.