Social media warning
Raising awareness of dangers of cyber crime
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.