Consumer education is necessary for protection against cyber crime ― NCC

UThe Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has said that continuous consumer education and awareness was key to the protection of consumers against cybercrime in Nigeria.

The Director, Consumer Affairs, NCC, Mrs Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, said this on Thursday at the 103 editions of Consumer Outreach Programme (COP) in Calabar.

She said despite the commission’s effort towards providing Nigerians access to the internet for positive engagements, hackers and cybercriminals had continued to thwart them.

“These hackers and cybercriminals deploy sophisticated systems to intrude into your connected devices as telecoms consumers to perpetuate their exploitation schemes.

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“However, it is our belief that one of the most effective ways to protect telecom consumers from the effects of cybercrime, is through continuous consumer education and awareness, ‘’ she said.

Onwuegbuchulam, who was represented by Mr Ismail Adedigba, Deputy Director Consumer Affairs of the commission said NCC was committed to using its various outreach programmes to sensitise consumers on how to avoid cybercrimes.

“This is with a view to keeping consumers abreast of risks associated with being online and enlightening them on safety measures to be taken once they use connected devices,” she said.

The director said such devices included feature phones, smartphones and other internet-enabled gadgets.

She said the theme of this year’s programme, “Mitigating Effects of Cybercrimes: The Role of Telecom Consumers’’ was chosen to highlight the threats of cybercrime to all users of telecom services.

Speaking, the Deputy Director, Consumer Protection Council, Mr Banjo Ojo, advised consumers to always suspect any unsolicited text messages asking them to send their Bank Verification Number (BVN) or PIN numbers.

“Do not fill any bank form asking you to send your account details online. It may be cybercrime or hackers,” he said.

He also enjoined consumers to be security conscious always and to report any suspicious internet fraud to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) or the nearest police post.

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