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Nigeria, 16th most cybercrime-affected nation

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By Mercy Kelani

New technologies that are being introduced come with uncommon threats.

In Nigeria, almost every citizen lives their lives through technology. As a matter of fact, the national security has dependence on the internet and technology in several ways. However, not every user of technology knows about cybersecurity. The new technologies that are being introduced come with uncommon threats, with cybercrime being one of such threats. This crime is considered as an attack such as spamming, hacking, and others, that is done through a phone, computer, internet or other devices.

According to experts, all users of the internet are potential victims of different kinds of cybercrime. A report given by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), highlighted Nigeria as the 16th country that is mostly affected by the crime. An anonymous top government official stated that the increasing number of scammers across the country is becoming a cause of worry. Experts have asserted that this activity might be as a result of the ubiquitous internet connectivity that is used by the whole country.

Cybercrime now seems like a cartel infrastructure.

Rapid internet encourages cybercrime activities, which includes raiding bank accounts, impersonation, identity theft, and stealing of corporate information. Almost two thirds of people who make use of online services across the world have either had their personal data compromised or stolen in several ways. Cybersecurity experts have asserted that cybercrime is transnational and sophisticated as it cuts across diverse jurisdictions. The crime now seems like a cartel infrastructure that is organised, with the involvement of actors from all over the world.

IT experts stated that the cyber crime attracts many young people, partially because there is a low probability of them getting arrested. The Nigeria Cyber Security Outlook published by Deloitte disclosed that there is a likelihood that phishing schemes will become bolder and bigger, even as public institutions and the government experience sensitive information breaches and data leaks. These attacks could become daring, sophisticated, and creative for exploitation of weaknesses in controls concerning payment verification, authentication, and authorization.

Early detection and prevention has proven difficult and ineffective.

The Centre for Strategic Studies published a report that disclosed that the global economy lost about $1 trillion to cybercrime in 2020. As a global issue, cybercrime ranks the third highest criminal behaviour after government corruption and narcotics. Although the Nigerian Cybercrime Prevention and Provision law has been helpful, it has been unable to ensure prevention of the vulnerability of major financial institutions, like banks, in Nigeria. Early detection and prevention has proven difficult and ineffective due to the challenge of real-time coordination.

As a result, there is an urgent need for a cybersecurity measure and a robust comprehensive risk management. The government is required to be more stringent regarding cybersecurity measures with specific enforcement, while organizations are needed to pay increased attention to surveillance and cybersecurity through implementation of multi-factor authentication mechanisms. However, there is an opportunity to transform the situation as increased International partnership to boost public awareness and information sharing programmes on the issue is likewise a necessity.

Maintenance of strong combinations for password and username.

There are measures through which cyber crimes can be prevented, using the internet. One of such measures is the maintenance of strong combinations for password and username for each accounts, and fighting the urge to write them down. Strong password are better because weak passwords can be broken easily. Also, social networking profiles — social media — should be kept private. Protection of storage data through encryption is also necessary for essential diplomatic files. Other measures include protection of online identity; frequent change of passwords; and security of phones.

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