, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 1 – Did you know that by accepting Facebook requests from people you do not know and have no mutual friends with puts you and your loved ones at the risk of cyber crime?
By including your personal information such as where you live, where you work and other personal information such as home and postal addresses and phone numbers, leaves you exposed to cyber crime?
By definition, cyber crime is defined as crime conducted via the Internet or some other computer network.
Global IT company, Cyber Roam, states that cyber criminals use social media not only to commit crime online, but also for carrying out real world crime owing to over-sharing across the different social platforms.
For instance, if someone wanted to kidnap or attack you, they could simply go to your Facebook wall to fetch your information, including your photos. You, on the other hand, would have probably posted a status such as, ‘Leaving work in 10 minutes time,’ or ‘too tired…heading to a bar for a drink or two!’ and the post could also include your location. That makes you, and the millions of people around the world who update such statuses, an easy target of cyber crime.
Norton Inc, has put straightforward facts about cyber crime. For instance, the phenomenon has now surpassed illegal drug trafficking as a criminal money-makers; somebody’s identity is stolen every three seconds and without a sophisticated security package, your unprotected PC can become infected within four minutes of connecting to the Internet.
Other examples of cyber crime include identity theft whereby a criminal steals someone else’s information and pretends to be them and uses the information to obtain financial resources or benefits entitled to the person. Example, obtaining a person’s name, birth date, National Identity number and credit card numbers information can lead someone into accessing bank accounts and stealing from it.
Transaction fraud, whereby a criminal posts items online and gives payment methods in the promise of delivering the items and not doing so, is another rampant type of cyber crime.
The advent of e-commerce as a thriving business has also fuelled the growth of transaction fraud as criminals now have added opportunities to con customers.
Hacking is however probably the most widely known form of cyber crime. It involves accessing a person’s computer system for sheer interest or to steal a person’s information. Kenya’s Ministry of Devolution recently fell prey to hacking attempts when the IFMIS system was almost hacked and over Sh800million almost stolen.
But the government is not folding its arms and doing nothing.
Addressing participants in this year’s Annual General Meeting of Regulators of Information and Communication for Eastern and Southern Africa (ARICEA), ICT Principal Secretary Joseph Tiampati urged the COMESA bloc to work together in order to fight cyber crime.