So­cial me­dia warn­ing

Rais­ing aware­ness of dan­gers of cy­ber crime

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - MASABATA MKWANANZI @Sa­bie_M

NEDUCATED” users of so­cial me­dia who are obliv­i­ous to cy­ber risks are likely to fall prey to dan­gers from crim­i­nals. This was the warn­ing by Gaut­eng Com­mu­nity Safety MEC Siza­kele Nkosi-Malobane when she launch the Youth Safe Cy­ber Life cam­paign in Se­bo­keng in the Vaal on Mon­day.

The pro­ject, which was launched in part­ner­ship with Alert­ing SA, seeks to raise aware­ness among the youth on dan­gers of cy­ber crime, which is preva­lent in Gaut­eng due to the ex­ist­ing tech­no­log­i­cal trends. The launch was held as part of Youth Month cel­e­bra­tions and was at­tended by mostly young peo­ple and po­lice of­fi­cers.

AlertSA chief ex­ec­u­tive Linda Khu­malo said it was now easy for crim­i­nals to rob in­di­vid­u­als as so­ci­ety is more re­liant on so­cial me­dia net­works. “As soon as you up­date your sta­tus mes­sage, that you are on a hol­i­day, that’s when they (crim­i­nals) will see you are not home and rob you,” he warned.

Khu­malo also warned the pub­lic not to buy reg­is­tered SIM cards that are avail­able on So­mali shops as it was a crime to do so. “The whole point of SIM cards be­ing reg­is­tered is to be able to trace back any crimes be­ing com­mit­ted us­ing the num­bers. Dig­i­tal crime is still new in our coun­try, so there’s still a lot of work to be done for po­lice to even recog­nise that it’s a dig­i­tal crime that they are deal­ing with.”

Khu­malo urged the pub­lic to not use the same pass­words for ev­ery­thing as this made it easy for hack­ers to eas­ily get their in­for­ma­tion. He pointed out that more work still needed to be done to em­power law en­force­ment of­fi­cers to un­der­stand how to deal with dig­i­tal crimes.

“Sell­ing and buy­ing a reg­is­tered SIM card is a crime as it will be­come im­pos­si­ble to trace back the num­bers to the owner if a crime will be com­mit­ted.

“Look at what hap­pened at Nige­ria, when MTN was sued for hav­ing un­reg­is­tered ac­tive SIM cards, it’s a na­tional se­cu­rity mat­ter and needs to be at­tended to,” he added.

Khu­malo also re­minded South Africans about the new Cy­ber Se­cu­rity and Cy­ber Crime Bill that was sub­mit­ted and set for pass­ing by Par­lia­ment in 2017.

“The op­por­tu­nity there­fore, is the pro­vi­sion of Cy­ber Se­cu­rity Ed­u­ca­tion, in form of the SafeCy­berLife, to the var­i­ous mar­ket seg­ments, sim­i­lar to the K53 ser­vice given to in­di­vid­u­als want­ing to drive ve­hi­cles.”

Nkosi-Malobane urged po­lice of­fi­cers to start tak­ing cy­ber crimes se­ri­ously. She said they would be trained to han­dle such mat­ters, and that they should be techno-sur­vey as times have changed.

“Yes, you still need to be fit and also be cy­ber smart as this is a new crime trend. It is go­ing to solve a ma­jor paint point of the com­mu­nity as the are many threats into life on­line is brought by the un­e­d­u­cated users who are obliv­i­ous of their many cy­ber risky be­hav­iour,” said Malobane.

The cam­paign will be rolled out in 10 se­lected po­lice sta­tions un­til Satur­day.

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