Digital experts have advised Ugandans to use as many passwords as possible as one way of protecting their data from those that are not authorised to access it, citing steps that should be taken to ensure data security.
Experts made the remarks during NBS SpotlightUG Show on Monday night. The discussion was on breaking the digital divide under the theme strategies for empowering women and girls through technology.
The Digital Service Consultant, Vivian Ddambya said there are those who have been wondering why some other people use a lot of passwords on their devices, but this, she said is necessary and one needs to protect his or her data from all those who are not authorised to access it.
For instance, she said if someone works for the government, there are secrets and other important information on his or her devices that need protection.
“Or somebody works for the bank and they have important information on their phones. They should guard it and we should let them (our loved ones) know that it is important to guard that information. You should guard that information from your siblings, from your husband, from your (wife) because that information has not been given to them. It belongs to you. You are a custodian for that information, “she said.
Ddambya said that data protection is very key especially in this digital era, asking people to refrain from accepting cookies without reading and understating the information about them.
“We do give a lot of data out there every day, we just accept cookies. We give out our data so often but currently in Uganda we have got the Data Protection and Privacy Law which is going to help to enable an environment where we ensure that a company, I have given my data, doesn’t sell it to somebody else or if they do, there are penalties,” she noted.
She explained that the data the people keep on giving out every day, other people use them to make some money but this should happen with the consent of the owner of the information.
She noted children should be trained from a very young age on how to remain safe online, because the world is changing fast.
“I have seen so many parents who say they are not going to allow their children to get online because it is unsafe, I disagree. We are training these children for a world we don’t know. The world is going to be totally different from what we know and this is going to be their world and they will live on these devices,” she said.
She called for a whole massive sensitisation on the digital transformation, and for that to happen she believes that the government needs to come together with the private sector and development partners.
The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance Dr. Aminah Zawedde, said the law on data protection aimed at protecting the users of the system and their data.
“We need to be open as parents and not stop our children from using these devices. I was invited to talk to parents and headteachers, and some said they can’t allow children to have gadgets. I told them they are doing the children a disservice,” she said.
Zawedde also highlighted the current state of ICT in Uganda, adding that it is one of the sectors that have been prioritised by the government because digitisation is at the forefront of what we have to do as a country.
“Out of every 100 Ugandans, we have 55 with a mobile phone. On the side of the government, we have tried to automate a number of government systems, including procurement, visa application, passport application among others,” she said.