The National Information Technology Authority Uganda launch a Cyber Security Awareness Campaign dubbed “Be Safe Online” which aims at increasing public awareness and vigilance on cyber threats. The Be Safe Online campaign is being funded by the World Bank as part of the Regional Communications Infrastructure Project (RCIP) Uganda.
RCIP Uganda has focused on complementary infrastructure investments to ensure greater access to affordable, high-quality ICT, and the development of a range of enabling e-Government foundations such as shared infrastructure and e-Services for MDAs among other interventions.
With increased access to the internet through the extension of affordable broadband, there is bound to be an increase in the number of internet users in the country and thus more risks to cyber threats to users who are unaware of cybersecurity mechanisms online.
The NITA-U Executive Director, Dr. Hatwib Mugasa said; “As the total number of internet users continues to grow, we’re launching this campaign with a goal of raising awareness about the cyber-related threats out there and to empower the Ugandan citizens with the knowledge and sense of shared responsibility to practice safe and informed decisions while using the internet.”
“We need to remember as technology users that safeguarding the Internet is a responsibility we all share. Digital technologies and the Internet have transformed our everyday lives since we can now access information, conduct business, keep in touch with family and friends, and engage online, but we need to remember cyber-attacks are becoming more common,” he added.
Cyber threats in Africa and in Uganda have increased over the years in terms of frequency and sophistication. Cybercrimes reported to the Uganda Police Force (UPF) have increased from 62 cases in 2013 to 198 cases in 2018 which results in the losses of hundreds of millions of shillings. Among the cases handled by police, there included offenses related to electronic fraud, threatening violence, defamation, offensive communication, impersonation, cyber harassment, theft, pornography among others.
On the side of proactive protection measures, NITA-U has in place the Uganda National Computer Emergency Response Team and Coordination Center to effectively analyze and respond to cyber threats for better protection of Uganda’s critical digital infrastructure and the availability of dependent services and support provided to the government agencies, citizens and businesses.
All these present a risk to the current internet user in the country and more awareness of the risk of falling prey to these threats is important to protect the users online.
With the launch of the, “Be Safe Online” cybersecurity awareness campaign, NITA-U continues to deliver on its promise of safeguarding the Ugandan people every step of the way.