Time to fight cybercrime in Nigeria – Blueprint Newspapers Limited

With around 3.9 billion users, the Internet has become one of the greatest technological developments, widely recognized for its ease and efficiency.

Technological advancements and development have led to the emergence of cybercrime.
Cybercrime, which involves any crime committed using a computer and a network such as phishing, bank verification number scams, fraudulent emails, hacking, cyber-harassment, spam, social media hijacking, etc., exploits vulnerabilities in electronic devices and their users.

Factors such as high unemployment, the pursuit of wealth, the lack of strict cybercrime laws, and incompetent personal device security have made cybercrime a significant problem for the country. The estimated annual financial loss in Nigeria due to cybercrime was 250 billion naira in 2017 and 288 billion naira in 2018.

People involved in such a fraudulent practice find it to be an easy way to make money. As the threat of cybercrime becomes increasingly intense, collaborative efforts are needed between individuals, businesses, government and the international community. Reforms such as increasing awareness of how cybercriminals operate, improving personal security, are essential to tackle cybercrime.
As part of the fight against cybercrime, the Nigerian government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria, has introduced a risk-based cybersecurity framework and guidelines for deposit banks and payment service providers. . The importance of this framework is to define proactive steps to acquire critical information assets, including customer information that is accessible on the Internet.

There are many initiatives and frameworks used by different countries to tackle cybercrime, which the Nigerian government can emulate. For example, the Canadian government has created an Anti-Fraud Center which is the central agency in Canada that collects criminal intelligence and intelligence on cybercrimes.

In 2018, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center received 59,009 fraud reports from victims and businesses, with losses totaling $ 97,654,160.35. However, the center estimates that less than 5% of fraud victims file a report, posing a challenge in its ability to provide up-to-date information on how to prevent a similar attack.
Nigeria is experiencing an upsurge in cybercrime supported by poor economic conditions, high unemployment and the quest for rapid wealth which are the two main factors pushing individuals towards cybercrime
This threat represents a great risk, which can only be eliminated by the strict enforcement of cybercrime laws and a strong economy.

However, the Nigerian government could help mitigate cybercrime and threats if measures are taken, such as raising awareness of simple security tips such as having updated and recognized antivirus software, avoiding pop-ups that require personal information, use strong passwords and ignore emails or calls requiring financial information to help unlock cards or accounts and also establish anti-fraud centers to fight cybercrime in the country.

Ibrahim Hassan Mshelia,

Department of Mass Communication,

Maiduguri University


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James F. So