SWITZERLAND, SEPTEMBER 14 – “Cybercrime is on the increase and service providers must provide on their networks the necessary technological solutions and measures to mitigate telecoms consumers’ exposure to cybercrime”.
Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, Director Consumer Affairs Bureau, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) stated this on Thursday, September 12, 2019 at the 110th edition of Consumer Outreach Programme (COP) which held in Umuahia, Abia State.
At the Outreach, focused on the role of the consumer in mitigating the effects of cybercrime, Onwuegbuchulam, who was represented by Ismail Adedigba, Head, Information and Reference at NCC’s Consumer Affairs Bureau, stated that service providers must join hands with the Commission to educate and equip their consumers with all the information they require to stave off cybercrime.
Onwuegbuchulam affirmed that “the NCC has been informing and educating the consumers on the challenge and dangers of cybercrime, so Service Providers should also demonstrate measures taken against cybercrime and ensure consumers are aware of the roles they can play to avoid falling victim,” she added.
Onwuegbuchulam also informed the well-attended forum that cybercrime is a global phenomenon from which no country is insulated. She stressed that with continuous education of consumers by the regulator, the operators and other concerned stakeholders such as consumer advocacy groups, and through deliberate action by the operators to safeguard their networks from being hacked, we all can work together to reduce incidence of cybercrime. She added that the cyber space covers everything consumers do online with computing devices including mobile phones, tablets and personal computers. According to her, these devices are storehouses of sensitive information and financial details which must be safeguarded by the owners.
Patrick Edung, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abia State, who joined other participants at the event to commend NCC for bringing such an educative and informative forum to Umuahia. He also enjoined the telecom consumers to resist the temptation to indulge in cybercrime, avoid falling victim and to help the police in fighting cybercrime activities in the country.
“Cybercrime is punishable by law. So, participants here today are encouraged to alert the police when you suspect people you know are indulging in cybercrime. In addition, we urge you not to purchase any used mobile device from any individual except you know the previous owner in order to avoid buying stolen items and getting implicated, arrested and convicted for crimes you never committed,” Edung warned the participants.
The forum provided an opportunity for telecoms consumers to interact with the regulator and operators’ representatives to address their concerns regarding telecoms service delivery.