summitSECURITY

Many victims of cybercrime never report to police

Are you too secure to be hacked? If you or any of your team member has Internet access or use social networks like WhatsApp, Email, Skype to mention but three, you are vulnerable to cyber-attacks if you connect through the same network!

Jane (not real name), a 24-year-old dark-skinned lady was excited with several ‘friendship’ requests on her new Facebook account that she forgot to change the default ‘security settings’. One ‘friend’ she accepted gained access to her profile details and got her email address, mobile phone, and name of close relatives.  In late 2018, she became a victim of a ‘spear phishing’ attack, in which hackers took over her computer including losing all documents and private photos. Her parents had to pay ransom twice – first to gain control of her computer and again to prevent hackers from publishing her private photos online.

Cybercrime is like rape; many victims never report to the Police due to the intrusive nature of the attacks. The best strategy is to empower your customers, your brothers and sisters, your stakeholders, and the general public to be secure by practising cyber hygiene -the general practice of cybersecurity consciousness by using strong passwords, changing them often, not sharing and or re-using passwords, avoiding unnecessary downloads of apps and opening links sent to you via email or social networks among many others. With Internet penetration in Uganda going past 50%, the problem is huge and is always increasing. During the covid19 lockdown, the Internet uptake has been on the rise. To make matters worse, many parents have had to connect the internet at home to facilitate homeschooling.

Now you have young children with internet access that is not being monitored.

Going forward:

  1. Visit YouTube and watch cybersecurity basics videos. Make sure you go through the videos with all people at home with Internet access. Cybersecurity awareness is the best strategy to manage the risks of hacking.
  2. Visit forensicsinstitute.org and enrol in a cybersecurity course for improved cyber hygiene. Alternatively, you could request for customized training for your unique needs. That way, you have a critical sessions awareness session featuring key demos to drive the point home. Learn how spear phishing is done and how anyone could be a victim overnight.
  3. Keep your home computer up to date with anti-viruses and software firewalls. When your anti-virus definitions and signatures are up to date, it is difficult to bypass them.
  4. Implement internet access and use monitoring. Download a tool on your home network or computer to monitor the kind of websites being visited. That way, you know what your children are up to. The teens of today are very brilliant and discreet. They show you a different picture and do something very unbelievable. The only sure way to know the facts is the independent monitoring of their online activities. When it comes to cybersecurity at home, there is no such thing as human rights. Just tell everyone to be responsible and access only approved sites since everything else is monitored for home safety and security.
  5. For more cybersecurity tips, visit forensicsinstitute.org.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved

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