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COVID-19: Pantami cautions Nigerians against activities of cyber-criminals

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COVID-19: Pantami cautions Nigerians against activities of cyber-criminals
Communications Minister, Dr. Isa Pantami

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has called for extra vigilance as cyber-criminals exploit.

In a statement on Thursday by the Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Femi Adeluyi, and made available to THE WITNESSsaid that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly transformed how people interact.

The minister said the caution was necessary as there has been an appreciable migration of several meetings, lectures and other form of interactions to online platforms.

The statement reads: “Furthermore, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM notes that the implicit requirement of social distancing has increased the adoption of online platforms and e-payment systems. This, no doubt, is a positive development that will support our implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria. However, this migration to home-based unsecure digital platforms, often with outdated security systems, can make users more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

“Our cybersecurity teams have intercepted following cases: Phishing attacks aimed at infecting systems or extracting sensitive information, campaigns that defraud citizens by offering essential products and services at suspicious prices, fake news and misinformation aimed at spreading panic, creating instability and promoting distrust; and video-teleconferencing (VTC) hijacking (also called “Zoom-bombing”).

Pantami further urged Nigerians to be extra-cautious and reinforce security measures while interacting online, especially when banking online.

“It is important to observe basic cyberspace rules such as: Ignoring suspicious online offers, being circumspect in sharing VTC details, using complex passwords, keeping software up to date; and refraining from sharing unverified information.

“The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is committed to keeping Nigerians safe online. To this end, the Ministry and its parastatals will issue regular cyber-security advisories, the statement concluded.

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