By Emmanuel Elebeke

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has commenced   nationwide cyber-security awareness workshops.

The events are part of the agency’s continuous efforts aimed at equipping citizens with foundational knowledge as well as share best practices on staying safe in cyberspace.

•Cyber security

The Director General/CEO of NITDA, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, said  the move was also aimed at addressing the rising incidences of money and data loss to cyber criminals.

“There has been a tremendous increase in the number of incidences where Nigerians have lost money and data through vulnerabilities arising from lack of knowledge on how to manage their online presence and personal details.

“The cybercriminals use social engineering, phishing mails, and probably specific to Nigeria, the use of text messages pretending to be sent from banks, requesting for PIN or revalidation of BVN numbers.

“To the unaware, such are the sources where vital information needed for making unauthorized withdrawals from victims’ bank accounts occur. A more worrisome and recent trend is the SIM Swap cases, where the victim’s SIM card is swapped; an operation that makes the victim’s phone inaccessible while funds are transferred.

“Knowing that everyone that uses ICT devices is vulnerable, these workshops target executives of registered associations and groups (translated into the most predominant language of the zone), with the ultimate aim of reaching their members,” he   explained..

NITDA said it had also deployed effective conventional channels and social media in conveying the stay-safe message.

The NITDA boss said that the agency has planned effective capacity building programmes that will culminate in organizational and individual certifications, while using Research and Development (R&D) results to feed these enlightenment programmes and aid relevant Agencies and Corporates in permanent mitigation strategy.

“The first phase of the series of Workshop was held in Katsina, Katsina State for the North West Zone on Thursday 29th  March, 2018 and attracted participants from Government Agencies, Military and Paramilitary organisations, the Academia, registered cooperatives and associations and the private sector from the states of the zone

“The second phase has been concluded on Thursday 19thApril, 2018 at Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, for the South South Zone with participation from all states of the zone. Dates and venues for subsequent Workshops will be made public in due course,” he added.

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