National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U), the government body established under the NITA-U Act 2009, to coordinate and regulate Information Technology services in Uganda has launched a Cyber Security Awareness Campaign aimed at increasing the public awareness and vigilance about the day-to-day cyber threats.
The campaign, that has been dubbed #BeSafeOnlineUg is funded by the World Bank as part of the Regional Communications Infrastructure Project (RCIP).
RCIP Uganda is focused on complimentary infrastructure investments to ensure greater access to affordable, high quality Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and development of a range of enabling e-Government foundations such as shared infrastructure and e-services for MDAs (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) among other interventions.
While launching the campaign, officials from NITA-U noted with concern that with increased access to internet through the extension of affordable broadband, there is bound to be an increase in the number of internet users in the country and thus more risks to cyber threats to users who are unaware of cyber security mechanisms online.
The NITA-U Executive Director, Dr. Hatwib Mugasa reiterated the above, emphasizing that they’re launching the campaign with a goal of raising awareness about the cyber-related threats out there and to empower the Ugandan citizens with the knowledge and sense of shared responsibility to practice safe and informed decisions while using the internet.
“We need to remember as technology users that safeguarding the Internet is a responsibility we all share. Digital technologies and the Internet have transformed our everyday lives since we can now access information, conduct business, keep in touch with family and friends, and engage online, but we need to remember cyber-attacks are becoming more common,” he added.
According to security reports, Cyber threats in Africa and in Uganda have increased over the years in terms of frequency and sophistication. Cybercrimes reported to the Uganda Police Force (UPF) have increased from 62 cases in 2013 to 198 cases in 2018 which results into the losses in hundreds of millions of shillings.
Among the cases handled by police, there included offences related to electronic fraud, threatening violence, defamation, offensive communication, impersonation, cyber harassment, theft, pornography among others.
As such, NITA-U has in place the Uganda National Computer Emergency Response Team and Coordination Center to effectively analyze and respond to cyber threats for better protection of Uganda’s critical digital infrastructure and the availability of dependent services and support provided to government agencies, citizens and businesses.
With the launch of the Cyber Security Awareness Campaign “Be Safe Online” NITA-U continues to deliver on its promise of safeguarding the Ugandan people every step of the way.
Users can follow campaign content online through the website, www.besafeonline.ug or on social media Twitter @NITAUganda1 Facebook: NITA. Uganda. Instagram: nitaug