Minister drives cyber security awareness in ECape

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Minister of communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
Minister of communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

The communications ministry's cyber crime and cyber security awareness campaign has reached the Eastern Cape, with the department ramping up efforts to educate citizens about cyber threats and vulnerabilities.

According to the Department of Communications (DOC), the campaign will also instil a sense of confidence in citizens' ability to transact and interact online.

Last week, the DOC kicked-off an awareness campaign in Eersterust, in Pretoria. Yesterday, the department was in Sakhela village in Mthatha to ensure community members were made aware of the dos and don'ts of the Web.

Led by minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, the DOC's awareness campaign spreads educational messages about the importance of exercising vigilance when online.

According to Ndabeni-Abrahams, some citizens are more susceptible to cyber criminals, and oftentimes less vigilant and less aware of the dangers around the digital space. "Some people in the villages fall victim to cyber crime because... they are looking for better opportunities."

The DOC's awareness drive has also been motivated by the passing of the Cyber Crimes Bill last month.

The Bill, initiated by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, seeks to deal with offences which have a bearing on cyber crime, to criminalise the distribution of data messages that are harmful, and to provide for interim protection orders, among other issues.

It states: "The offences provided for in the piece of legislature aim to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems by means of the offences of unlawful access, interception of protected data, malware-related offences, interference with data and computer systems, and password-related offences."

Noma Efeso Mngeta, from the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services' cyber security operations, said the public must be taught all the known methods criminals use to rob people.

Mngeta warned people must be vigilant at all times, especially on social media. She also urged people to safeguard their information and not to share their details with anyone.

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