The National Information Technology Authority (NITA) Uganda, an autonomous government parastatal under the Ministry of ICT has been rewarding youth with a cash prize of up to UGX3,000,000 for taking part in their (NITA-Uganda) ongoing weekly “Be Safe Online” Cybersecurity Quiz —dubbed ‘NITA-U Festive Quiz’.
For two weeks, NITA Uganda has rewarded individuals UGX500,000 and groups of five (5) UGX3,000,000 for taking part in the Quiz. In three weeks, six (6) individuals each received UGX500,000, and three (3) groups each consisting of 5 members received UGX3,000,000. The winning individuals and teams took part in the weekly quiz posted on the ‘Be Safe Online’ social media platforms; Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube —where the participating individuals and groups with the highest post engagement win the cash prize.
“The quiz runs two questions on different cyber security themes each week on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, targeting individual and group entrants. When a question is posted, the top 2 individual answers with the most engagement each win UGX500,000, and UGX3,000,000 goes to a group with the most engagement,” Mr. Arnold Mangeni, Director of Information Security at NITA Uganda, told PC Tech Magazine.
Mangeni noted that for group submissions, a strict guideline was set to ensure that among the 5 members, there’s at least a female participant and groups that didn’t the criteria were not allowed.
“We set strict guidelines to ensure that among the group of 5 there’s at least a female. Groups that submit all-male participants don’t meet the criteria for winning,” Mangeni said.
NITA Uganda originally designed the Cybersecurity Quiz to be a proper physical School Quiz. They planned it as a hands-on Cybersecurity awareness campaign for students, however, they couldn’t execute it due to the Covid-19 circumstance (schools are still closed), thus adjusting it online.
“We know students are at home and many are online. This Quiz is a way to get them to positively be involved in the quiz and at the same time create awareness about Cyber Security for themselves and their peers in a way they can understand,” Mangeni clarified.
In the first week of the quiz, individuals week asked to, ‘state minimum computer security features that can keep grandmothers pension safe, avoiding the risk of being stolen by computer hackers.’ Andrew Mugisha and Bwire Ian Jeremia’s answers got the most engagement hence winning UGX500,000 each —and in addition, received Christmas hampers.
As for the group in the same week —were asked to, ‘make a short video demonstrating the importance of phone security and the risks associated with poor phone security.’ A group consisting of Amanya Brian, Tugume Hastings, Natseli Godfrey, Murangira Boris, and Namilo Habibah emerged winners and were rewarded UGX3,000,000 and Christmas hampers.
In the second week of the quiz, individuals week asked to, ‘give a description of malware and the types of malware people should avoid.’ which saw Janat Kwagala and Sarah Namiiro emerge as winners having the most engagement on their answers.
As for the group in the second week —were asked to, ‘share a video acting out the Tendo hacking animation (shared on the Be Safe Online Twitter account prior) in a local language of their choice.’ The group of Kenneth Kasasira, Ndyamuhaki Barham, Mugisha Simon, Ajo Clement, and Mugenyi Suleiman, managed to beat the competition emerging as winners of the UGX3,000,000 cash prize.
In the third week, Samuel Aule, and Melisa Kusasira emerged as winners whose posts got the most engagement having answered ‘tips on how to keep children safe online, and an easy way parents can remember these tips.’ Each also was rewarded UGX500,000 along with Christmas hampers. While the group of Carolina Winifred Nejesa, Juilet Nabasumba, Ivan Kyakuwa, Naymar Namazzi, and Keith Pius Mukiibi, emerged as winners receiving UGX3,000,000.
The participants were grateful for NITA’s generosity as well as applauding them on their cybersecurity awareness campaign dubbed “Be Safe Online” which aims at increasing public awareness and vigilance on cyber threats.
Kenneth Kasasira, one of the winners in the second-week quiz said, “I believe in Santa now. I thought he was just in stories and I had always wished for him to check in on me. NITA-U came in the form of Santa this year for me and I am grateful. On top of providing me an opportunity to grasp Cybersecurity and teach my peers, I got cash to celebrate my Christmas.”
With the ongoing Cyber Security Awareness Campaign Be Safe Online, NITA Uganda pledges to continue to deliver on its promise of safeguarding the Ugandan people every step of the way. They are called on the public to follow the campaign content online through the website: www.besafeonline.ug as well as on their social media platforms; Twitter: @besafeonlineug and Instagram: @besafeonlineug.