The NITA-U cybersecurity campaign unveils website with tips to avoid cyber attacks

Since the beginning of the pandemic, cybersecurity has become a major concern, as more people spend the majority of their time online. This creates a favourable environment for criminal activity. The launch of the NITA-U cybersecurity campaign to increase public awareness and vigilance about day to day threats emphasizes the need to address this issue and provide solutions.

Also read: A summary of the Africa cybersecurity report 2019/2020 Uganda edition launched today

NITA-U has set up a centralized website that will be a central knowledge hub for anyone seeking information on cybersecurity tips. The Cyber Security Awareness Campaign is aimed at increasing public awareness and vigilance about the day-to-day cyber threats. The campaign is funded by World Bank as part of the Regional Communications Infrastructure Project.

Over recent years, Uganda has tried to implement secure cyberspaces with measures in place to stop cyber attacks. According to the Africa Cybersecurity report – Uganda 2019/2020, Uganda was ranked as the most secure cyberspace in Africa in the 2018 Global National Cyber Security Index, previously second in the 2017 ranking.

The NITA-U Executive Director, Dr Hatwib Mugasa said “As the total number of internet users continues to grow, we’re launching this campaign with a goal of raising awareness about the cyber-related threats out there and to empower the Ugandan citizens with the knowledge and sense of shared responsibility to practice safe and informed decisions while using the internet.”

Various efforts by the government and big players in the private sector have worked towards more digital inclusion especially in 2020. Combined with the pandemic, this could be a downside as it contributes to increasing numbers of internet users.

“We need to remember as technology users that safeguarding the internet is a responsibility we all share. Digital technologies and the internet have transformed our everyday lives since we can now access information, conduct business, keep in touch with family and friends, and engage online, but we need to remember cyber-attacks are becoming more common,” he added.

Read also: Here is how to remove leaked nudes on the internet

Cyber threats are changing at a rapid pace. Tactics and attack methods are changing and improving daily. Cybercriminals access a computer or network server to cause harm. Some of the most common categories of cybercrimes in Uganda include online impersonation of high profiles, unauthorized access, malware and more.

A lower crime rate could result from the NITA-U cybersecurity campaign

Cybercrime causes a range of monetary and non-monetary losses. It causes the leakage of confidential information and the halting of business operations, resulting in the loss of customers. It leads to loss of money, for both businesses and individuals. Incidents like wrong content also increase the costs of brand reputation, crisis management & PR.

The 2020 Uganda Police Report shows that there has been a reported increase in cybercrime in 2020 from 248 to 256 cases showing a 3.2% increase. Cybercrimes led to a loss of UGX 15,949,236,000 in 2020 in which UGX 7,720,000 was recovered.

The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness of cyber-related threats and to empower the Ugandan citizens with the knowledge and sense of shared responsibility to practice safe and informed decisions while using the internet. Well equipped with tips on how to protect themselves in digital spaces, Ugandans can able prevent some of these losses.

Different initiatives have been enforced to create online safety like the online child abuse campaign which recorded over 22,000 reports shortly after it was launched. The online child abuse campaign in Uganda was launched by the Internet Watch Foundation in February 2021 to bring an end to child sexual abuse on the internet. It encourages the public to report any content that contains child sexual abuse.

Read more: The online child abuse campaign in Uganda has recorded 22,000 reports so far

Read more: Updates of the Ministry of ICT’s achievements in Uganda through NITA-U

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