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Children Stand High Chances of Internet Threat During The Coronavirus Pandemic

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Schools girls pictured using a smartphone. (Photo Credit: afidep.org)

The National Information Authority Uganda (NITA-U) issued an advisory on common scams the public should look out and one of them was ‘Child Online Safety’ — that they claim children will potentially have an increased online presence and/or be in a position that puts them at an inadvertent risk.

Following President Museveni’s directive of temporarily closing schools for 30 days, learners were advise to study/learn or self-learn from home till schools resume. With internet availability, they can self-learn with the help of the parents. There are any platforms of the internet to access study materials from and all ages. NITA-U and UNICEF introduced an eLearning platform for O’Levels students while MTN Uganda gave data-free access to 17 educational websites.

However, with all the good the internet brings, it has its downsides. While doing research, a child may be a victim to malicious acts. For instance, s/he sees an interesting Ad not knowing it is virus when clicked might end up stealing ones person information that the hacker can use for their own good.

NITA-U has therefore calls on parents and guardians to check out our tips and guidance on how to ensure children use the internet is a safe and responsible manner https://cop.ug/.

NITA-U issued an advisory on common scams the public should look out for; Fake News and Phishing e-mails.

Fake News: Be wary of websites and apps claiming to track COVID-19 cases worldwide. Criminals are using malicious websites to lure unsuspecting users into downloading malware (malicious software). Once installed, cyber criminals use malware to steal sensitive information from a compromised user. The approved Covid-19 information portals for Uganda and internet free access are;

  1. Ministry of Health website – https://www.health.go.ug/covid/
  2. Covid19 Informational Portal – https://covid19.gou.go.ug/
  3. World Health Organisation – https://www.who.int/

Phishing e-mails: Be wary of malicious e-mails asking you to verify your personal information in order to access government support. Government agencies are not sending unsolicited e-mails seeking your personal data in order to send you any form of assistance. If you receive a malicious e-mail that asks for your personal information in order to receive government support ignore, delete immediately or report to info@cert.ug.

So far, Uganda records 52 positive cases of the coronavirus and 0 death cases.

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