Cybersecurity: Use strong, secure passwords for internet-based accounts, online transactions, NCC charges consumers

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Ladesope Ladelokun

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has harped on the need by telecom consumers across the country to be more conscious of the threats in the cyberspace when carrying out financial transactions or any other activity online, urging them to use strong and secure passwords for internet-based accounts and online transactions.

The Commission stated this during the 109th edition of the monthly Consumer Outreach Programme (COP) held recently in Osogbo, Osun State which focused on how the telecom consumers can mitigate effects of cybercrimes.

“The use of strong and secure passwords for online transactions would make it difficult for cybercriminals to hack into online accounts of Internet users and we encourage telecom users to be wary of the various antics of cybercriminals,” Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC counselled at the Outreach.

Represented by Jerry Ugwu, Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, Onwuegbuchulam stated that as the Commission embarks on various initiatives for Nigerians to have increased access to broadband for positive engagements, it was also aware of the wrong use of such access for negative purposes by some individuals.

It is based on this realisation that the Commission has devoted some of its outreach programme to sensitising telecom consumers on dangers of cybercrime as well as the obligation of the consumers in online protection.

According to Onwuegbuchulam, the Commission will continue to engage telecom consumers on the effects of cybercrime through enlightenment and awareness programmes such as the COP.

The Director of Consumer Affairs then affirmed that consumers who take online protection must take NCC programmes and outreach seriously because of the opportunity the programmes offer for learning.

Also at the forum, Ismail Adedigba Head, Information and Reference at Consumer Affairs Bureau of NCC stated that as the demand for data services and Internet activity increases, with most services especially commerce and other banking activities going online, Internet users have become targets for hackers.

This explains why NCC considers it necessary “to commit resources into continuously educating telecom consumers on the dangers and forms of cybercrimes as well as empower them with the knowledge they need to be able to discern and identify cybercrime antics, in their various guises, when they confront any online and, more importantly, what they should do personally to get protected”, he said.

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