Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it will establish “Internet Industry Code of Practice” for service providers in the country to mitigate the effects of cyber crimes on broadband consumers. Alhaji Ismail Adedigba, Deputy Director and Head, Information and Reference Unit, NCC Consumer Affairs Bureau, disclosed this on Monday during the 50th edition of the organisation’s Consumer Town Hall Meeting (CTM) in Ago-Iwoye, Ogun.

The CTM had the theme: “Mitigating Effects of Cyber crimes: The Roles of Telecom Consumers.” Adedigba said that the move became necessary as the liberalisation of the telecoms industry led to unprecedented increase in the usage of internet-based services, which exposed more consumers to cyber threats.

He added that “the Internet Code is another regulatory intervention by NCC, expected not only to help secure cyberspace but to also address issues relating to online child protection, privacy and data security. “Let me emphasise that while the regulatory intervention and other initiatives are ongoing to sanitise our internet space, telecom consumers must play their roles as well.”
“Consumers must be cautious of the type of information they post online and imbibe responsible internet and phone usage etiquette.” “Telecom consumers must install filtering software that helps to block access to inappropriate websites and exercise caution while clicking on flashing pop-ups or adverts as this may open up other compromised pages.
“They must also monitor the contents accessed by children or wards, as well as sign up into sites that can be remotely monitored for digital footprints and activities.” “Cyber-Security is a collective effort we must jointly address to reduce the effects of cyber crimes on telecom consumers in this broadband era.” Adedigba highlighted the importance of the CTM at the grassroots toward ensuring consumer safety, saying consumer ignorance was the most important advantage preyed on by cyber criminals and hackers.

He said that the NCC believed that one of the most effective ways to protect telecom consumers from cyber crime was continuous consumer education such as nationwide CTM outreach. He added that “our consumer awareness programme, especially the CTM, has been very effective because we use local languages to pass messages. “We also work with police. If there are cyber-attacks, we always encourage consumers to inform the police.”

NCC holds CTM monthly in rural and semi-urban areas in states and major cities across the country. The programme brings together telecom consumers with network operators and the NCC to identify, discuss and jointly proffer solutions to issues affecting consumers and operators.

Source: Daily Trust.

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