CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS TAKES TURN AT REGIONAL LEVEL
By Tagie Daisy Mwakawago
The Ministry of Information, Communication and Information Technology has continued its countrywide mission at regional level on Cybersecurity Security Awareness Month, this time in Arusha region on 17 October 2022. Over 300 students and faculty members participated during the meeting conducted separately at the Arusha Technical College and the Arusha Institute of Accountancy.
“We are in Arusha speaking to college faculties whom as a Ministry, we believe encompasses sampling groups of students and professionals that are internet savvies but yet unknowingly vulnerable to malware and cyberattacks. Equipping them with basic knowledge of surfing and using online services responsibly is of paramount,” said Eng. Stephen Wangwe, Assistant Director of Cyber Security in the Ministry of Information, Communication and Information Technology when addressing the lectures and students at both schools.
Eng. Wangwe explained that there are three prominent areas that make online users a target for cyber criminals. “Online exploitation such as cyber bullying, identity theft and false impersonation have posed a grave and constant threat for online users in the country,” he added. The students were further told to be aware of the looming acts of phishing, whereby criminals hid their identity behind a particular company or service, luring individuals to provide personal information.
“The Government has set a help phone number 15040 for reporting any fraudulent messages or activities intended to steal money or personal information,” added Eng. Wangwe. Participated students were also assured that the Government is keen in addressing such criminal acts through its responsible agencies.
Praising the strategic tour conducted at his college, Dr. Musa Chacha, Director of the Arusha Technical College (ATC) added that online systems are the prominent tools used by the ATC, making the inducted awareness necessary for the faculty to gather more knowledge about cybersecurity.
Also, speaking before members of press, Mr. Yusuph Kileo, a Cyber Security and Digital Forensics Expert from Tanzania at the African ICT Alliance (AfICTA) said that every citizen ought to be responsibly cognizant of online safety. “Online safety is not about a particular group. It is a prime responsibility for each and all of us in protecting any personal information and data from online criminals,” said Mr. Kileo.
Mr. Kileo explained that there are hidden individuals who perform criminal acts at local and international level, stealing individual or company’s information for personal gain. “We are here to empower you with technological knowledge of securing your personal information to minimize any risks or vulnerability of being a victim of online fraud or hack,” explained Mr. Kileo.
“The experts provided us with technical knowledge about online security and and we are ready to instill to others about cybersecurity,” said Mr. Allan Msolla, Head of Department – Informatics at the Arusha Institute of Accountancy.
The Ministry’s cybersecurity team also paid a courtesy visit to the office of Dr. Cairo P. Mwaitete, Acting Director of the Arusha Institute of Accountancy and provided him with a t-shirt, designed to observe Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2022. The t-shirt carried a slogan “Cyberspace Security starts with individuals,” which is a dedicated theme for the annual cybersecurity awareness observed worldwide in every month of October.
The meeting served as an eye opener that the world of technology keeps advancing at part with online criminals, forcing nations to ensure that security is necessary for their citizens.