The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has stressed the need for the over 114 million internet users in the country to show interests in getting constant enlightenment to ensure proper protection against cybercrime.
NCC Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Mrs. Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, in Lagos yesterday, spoke of the need for awareness programmes where consumers were informed on the dangers of cybercrimes.
Mrs. Onwuegbuchulam said that such programmes would ensure that internet users learnt and observed skills through which they could be protected while on the internet.
In a statement, she said that the commission recently held the 47th edition of its monthly Consumer Town Hall Meeting (CTM) in Abia, where it discussed cyber space issues.
According to her, cyber space covers everything consumers do online or with computing devices, including mobile phones, tablets and personal computers.
She said: “The internet touches almost all aspects of human lives. There is, therefore, need for the consumers to show interests in getting constant enlightenment and be conscious of fraudulent tendencies by some internet users while online.
“As at February this year, there are over 114 million internet users in the country, with over 63 million of them accessing broadband services on 3G and 4G networks.
“The need to constantly educate is further underscored by the large numbers of Nigerians online, with even more to come online.
“The commission is intensifying efforts towards implementing its various initiatives aimed at deepening connectivity across the nooks and crannies of Nigeria.
“As access to internet increases, the dimension of cyber-criminal activities is also becoming more sophisticated.”
The NCC director urged consumers to take the skills learnt through consumer engagement programmes very seriously and apply them, in order to be safe on the cyber space.
Mrs. Onwuegbuchulam said that the liberalisation of the telecommunications industry in 2001 led to an unprecedented growth in the usage and dependence on internet-based solutions, services and applications.
According to her, as the internet is being used for legitimate, positive engagements, some individuals also use it for criminal activities in the cyber space.
She, however, said that aside the continuous monthly consumer enlightenment programmes, the commission had also initiated a process to establish an Internet Industry Code of Practice for Internet Service.
The director said: “The Internet Code is a regulatory intervention that will help to secure the country’s cyber space against imminent threats from cyber attackers.
“It will also address such issues as online child protection, privacy and data protection, contents, among others.’’