With increased access to the internet through the extension of affordable broadband, there is bound to be an increase in the number of internet users in the country and thus more risks of cyber threats to users who are unaware of cyber security mechanisms online.
As such, the National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U) has launched a cyber-security awareness campaign dubbed “Be Safe Online” which aims at increasing public awareness and vigilance about the day-to-day cyber threats.
According to the officials, the campaign is to raise awareness on the cyber-related threats and to empower citizens with the knowledge and sense of shared responsibility to practice safe and informed decisions while using the internet.
The NITA-U executive director, Dr. Hatwib Mugasa said if the public remains oblivious to issues regarding cyber security, it will hamper the embracement of digital transformation.
“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 said.
Arnold Mangeni, the director information at NITA-U explained that the objective is to reduce fraud adding that the country has lost a lot of money due to cyber related crimes.
“According to the police crime report, we have lost a lot of information and lowered productivity. There are a number of times when people’s devices are compromised and rendered unproductive until they restore, “he said.
Cyber threats in Africa and in Uganda have increased over the years in terms of frequency and sophistication.
The Uganda Police annual crime report for 2019, reported a total of 248 cybercrime cases during the year compared to 198 cases in 2018 which resulted in the losses of hundreds of millions of shillings.