Data breaches are on the rise and it’s getting more and more unsafe to communicate on networks such as the internet. This predicament places an emphasis on a sustainable security awareness program which will help to enlighten the end users.In its continued effort towards making the society aware of the potential threats on the internet, we recently gave an internet security awareness lecture for staff of Government Secondary School, Limawa. The awareness forms part of our Corporate Social Responsibility, (CSR) aimed at sensitizing the public on the dos and don’ts when using the internet.
The speaker, Bright Emeka, a staff of the company, informed the teachers about some threats that exist on the internet such as identity theft, social engineering, etc. On identity theft, he revealed that it is a situation where someone accesses one’s personal information such as your personal identification number (PIN) and could use such sensitive information for activities unknown to the owner of these info.
On virus infection, he said that viruses are malicious software created with an objective to either cause damage or loss of information or invade the privacy of users on a target gadget/machine/device or network.
He spoke against using pirated software, downloading media materials from untrustworthy websites, exchange of applications from friends through Bluetooth or file sharing applications. Rather, all these should be done from trusted sites and recognized IT companies that have robust policies on security and privacy..
One of the teachers, Mr Ezekiel asked how fraudsters get a person’s PIN and withdraw without the ATM card. In his response, the speaker said that this can be achieved through social engineering; a situation where a person is ‘engineered’ to giving out sensitive information unknowingly, once this person gets access to the PIN and numbers of the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card, such withdrawal can be made without access to the ATM card. He, therefore, advised them to make enquiries about OTP (one-time password) from their banks to avoid such incidence.
Another teacher, Mallam Mohammed asked if the banks can be trusted with the OTP and if the antivirus on our Android phones is reliable for use. On the OTP, the speaker said that the code is not static, it is changed for every transaction and it is with the permission of the account owner that transactions can be made. On the second question, the speaker said that users should always check for reviews and comments to know what people are saying about the application that they want to use.
While rounding up, the speaker advised the teachers not to use easy to guess passwords like nicknames, birth dates, phones numbers etc.
As we continue to spread the word, we would like to thank the authority at GSS Limawa and NYSC Zonal Office that have give us the opportunity to enlighten its staff on the essence of user security on the internet. The best defense against some of these threats still remains awareness which begins with you reading this article. Your data is precious and we must guard it jealously.