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Pantami calls for extra vigilance as cybercriminals exploit COVID-19

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Dr. Pantami
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly transformed how the citizens interact among themselves. 

In particular, there has been an appreciable migration of several meetings, lectures and other form of interactions to online platforms.

However, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), has further emphasized 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However, this migration to home-based unsecure digital platforms, the Minister said, often with outdated security systems, can make users more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

“Our cybersecurity teams have intercepted following cases, amongst others:

  1. Phishing attacks aimed at infecting systems or extracting sensitive information;
  2. 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
  1. Video-teleconferencing (VTC) hijacking (also called “Zoom-bombing”).

Pantami therefore urges everyone to be extra-cautious and reinforce security measures while interacting online, especially when banking online.

He said, 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 cybersecurity advisories, “ according to the statement signed by Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the
Minister, Dr Femi Adeluyi.

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