Cyber crime is a ticking bomb in Africa

Posted on October 22, 2014 12:36 am

As various African countries police records show, the continent is losing millions of dollars monthly and now cyber crime is serious and Governments must educate the public in preventing it. Most of the cyber crime committed in the continent were through parcel scams, selling goods via the Internet, and masquerading. Cyber crime in Africa has yet to reach a level, where a syndicate would steal an information or intellectual property from a person or organisation and sell it to other parties or a rival for a price. However, the collaboration among the police from different countries in the campaign is vital to educate the public on the prevention measures so that they would not easily fall prey to cyber crime. Such an initiative should mainly target the young generation as they are tech-savvy in using computers and mobile devices. They are also prone to be influenced by what is posted on the Internet, making them easy prey. Cyber criminals have hit Africa to the tune of more than half a billion dollars since the beginning of the year in losses, making the continent one of the most vulnerable to cyber crime.

African were also facing threats from international criminal organisations which abuse the internet for activities such as drugs, human trafficking, financial fraud and money laundering.It is also sad to note that cyber criminals are exploiting the public’s thirst for information on jobs and education institutions.The cyber crime in the continent has increased to 1,006 cases monthly, from 321 cases two years ago.Statistics from an independent Computer Emergency Response Team showed incidents on malicious codes had the highest increase with 4,456 more cases recorded last year, from 980 cases in 2012. “Incidents of cyber harassment, fraud and spam have shown a slight increase with the highest reduction in intrusion incidents”, the study added.There is need for all parties, including the government, private sector, critical infrastructure providers and individuals to play their part in lifting cyber security standards.Launching initiatives to educate and raise awareness for the public to be responsible and ethical when surfing the Internet would be a step in the right direction.

Contador Harrison