The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has advised the Nigerian public to be wary of monetary and other offerings on the cyberspace, saying that most of such promises are laden with risks.
The Director General of the agency, Dr Isa Ibrahim Pantami, in a statement pointed out that the need to enlighten Nigerians on how criminals were operating to cause financial and other assets havoc to unsuspecting users of the Internet had become imperative in view of their prowling antics on daily basis.
Specifically, the industry expert listed some of the ways ways cybercriminals obtain information from their potential victims as including swapping of SIM cards to ensure that victims are not alerted when their funds were being stolen through online banking transactions.
He, therefore, cautioned members of the public on the ways they share personal information on the cyberspace so that they will not become victims of the increasingly risky cybercriminals.
He stated: “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 Bank Verification Numbers.
“To the unaware, such are the sources where vital information needed for making unauthorised 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”, the NITDA boss added.
According to him, cyber security has continued to attract the attention of governments, enterprises, groups and individuals owing to the myriads of potential for business growth, damage, national security and sovereignty.
Pantami pointed out further that the negatives of the fraudsters’ acts could cripple a nation’s economy should critical infrastructure be affected, adding that the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has evaluated nations in the Global Cyber-security Index, placing Nigeria on number four in Africa.
To leverage its enlightenment campaigns on the cybercrimes menace, Ibrahim hinted that in view of the increasing activities of cybercriminals in the country, the agency would be holding workshops in cities nationwide to educate citizens with the information and knowledge required to move ahead of the cybercriminals.