By Adeniyi Ogunfowoke
With almost everyone relying on the internet to perform tasks, there is barely anything like privacy. All your personal information are readily available to everyone by simply googling your name.
However, you can control the information others have access to online thereby guaranteeing your online privacy by taking certain steps. Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency shares some of the steps you should take.
Password all your devices
Protect all your devices with passwords and that includes your computers, tablets, smartphones and anything other gadgets with your personal data on them. If it is unsecured by a password, your lost or stolen gadget will become a source of personal information for whoever has it and this can lead to identity theft.
Use two-factor authentication
The two-factor authentication is becoming very popular today. Activating this feature will not give you or any other person immediate access to your accounts. Instead, when you login, you will need to enter a special code that the website texts to your phone. No code, no access.
Do not share too much information on your social media profile
The more information you share online, the easier it’s going to be for someone to get their hands on it. One of such ways to get this information is via social media. So, check your social media profiles and remove information such as date of birth, phone numbers and email addresses. Anyone who wants to contact you should send a Direct Message.
Enable private browsing
If you don’t want anyone with physical access to your computer to see your online activities, you should enable private browsing which is a setting available in all major web browser. Enabling it will automatically delete cookies, browsing history and temporary Internet files after you close the window.
Set up a Google alert for your name
This is one of the easiest ways to keep track of everything someone may be saying about you on the website. With the activation of Google alert, you will be alerted immediately if someone illegally accesses your information.
Pay for transactions with cash
If you do not want to give out your card information online, you should use the cash on delivery option to pay for online transactions. You know some of these websites can sometimes be unreliable.
Keep your computer virus free
If your computer is infected by a virus or malware, hackers will not only have access to your information to steal your identity, but they may lock up your files and ask for a ransome to get them back. You will have to pay if the files are important to you.
Do not rely on search engines
If you don’t like the idea of your search history being used to do business, you can switch your search engines. This is because many of us rely heavily on Google Chrome. So, make it a rule of thumb to switch your search engine.
Adeniyi Ogunfowoke is a PR Associate at Jumia Travel
Cybercrime: The Greatest Challenge of the Nigerian Youth in the Digital Age!!!
By Rotimi Onadipe
Cybercrime is a crime perpetrated through an electronic communication network, particularly the internet. This menace is very rampant among youths between the age of 14 and 21 and it had done incalculable damage to the image of Nigeria.
Cybercrime can be perpetrated through many ways; e.g. phone calls, internet calls, sending of scam emails containing “get rich quick” proposals to entice unsuspecting victims etc.
The most common type of cybercrime is perpetrated through email. In most cases, it comes in form of a marriage proposal, unclaimed fund, donation, lottery, help, bonanza, bank transaction notification or credit alert etc. Some of the youths send as many as 20,000 such scam emails every day while others send more to increase their chance of getting their targets.
Youths are proverbially referred to as leaders of tomorrow but how can they be true leaders when they engage in various types of cybercrime at an early age?
It is very sad that the family members of most cybercriminals are very happy with their illegal activities. Due to the economic situation of the country, most parents of cybercriminals have determined to pretend as if nothing is wrong with what their children are doing because of the benefits they derive from their ill-gotten wealth. Their excuse is that the high rate of unemployment and poverty in Nigeria lead their children into illegal activities.
Some parents invite clerics, family members and neighbours to celebrate with them and hold special prayer sessions for their children who have made huge sums of money through internet fraud.
Others go further to prepare charms for their children so as to escape justice if they get arrested or are taken to court for trial. Some parents even justify the unlawful acts by saying “they are reaping the fruits of parent-hood”.
This menace had done incalculable damage to the image of Nigeria and many countries around the world. A study by a research organisation discovered that Nigerian scams cost the British Economy at least £150 million a year. The fact of this matter is that the cost to society goes beyond just losing money. Some victims had attempted suicide, many homes have broken and a lot of businesses crashed.
Further findings, also revealed that some countries lose at least $36 million a year to Nigerian scammers. Another research by Cybersecurity Ventures states that cybercrime will cost the global economy $6.1 trillion annually by 2021.
However, cybercrime is not limited to men, some ladies are also into the illegal act. They usually start by sending their nude pictures to unsuspecting victims after which they develop this to Advance Fee Fraud, all in the name of unemployment and poverty.
The mind-boggling question:
Is cybercrime the solution to unemployment and poverty in Nigeria? The answer is of course “NO.”
Here are some safety tips that we can adopt to reduce cybercrime among Nigerian youths in today’s digital age:
- We should all have a total change of heart by having the fear of God in our hearts and believing that one day we will meet our creator to give an account of how we spent our lives.
- Religious and non-governmental organisations should always organise programs to sensitise the youths and the society at large on the need to have the fear of God in their heart.
- Parents should not indulge their children who come home with different items they did not procure for them. They should investigate how they got the items.
- Parents should always pray for their children and counsel them to be contented with what they have.
- Government and non-governmental organizations should encourage the youths in their talents through skill acquisition programs.
- Nigerian youths should be optimistic about the situation of the country. They should shun the belief that “Nigeria can never get better”.
- Government should address the problems of poverty and unemployment by creating more jobs and providing soft loans to unemployed youths.
- The youths should also realise that cybercrime has repercussions that could destroy their future.
- Government and non-governmental organizations should always create awareness campaigns at all levels to sensitise the entire public on the dangers attributed to cybercrime and the preventive measures.
- The sim card registration program set up by the National Communication Commission (NCC) had really helped a lot in reducing the rate of cybercrime in Nigeria. More programs of this nature should be introduced by the government.
Sophos Acquires Braintrace to Provide Next Generation Cybersecurity
By Adedapo Adesanya
Sophos, a global leader in next-generation cybersecurity, has announced the acquisition of Braintrace to manage cyber threats and provide responses to its customers.
This further enhances Sophos’ Adaptive Cybersecurity Ecosystem with Braintrace’s proprietary Network Detection and Response (NDR) technology.
Braintrace’s NDR provides deep visibility into network traffic patterns, including encrypted traffic, without the need for Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) decryption. Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, Braintrace launched in 2016 and is privately held.
As part of the acquisition, Braintrace’s developers, data scientists and security analysts have joined Sophos’ global Managed Threat Response (MTR) and Rapid Response teams.
Sophos’ MTR and Rapid Response services business has expanded rapidly, establishing Sophos as one of the largest and fastest-growing MDR providers in the world, with more than 5,000 active customers.
Braintrace’s NDR technology will support Sophos’ MTR and Rapid Response analysts and Extended Detection and Response (XDR) customers through integration into the Adaptive Cybersecurity Ecosystem, which underpins all Sophos products and services.
The Braintrace technology will also serve as the launchpad to collect and forward third-party event data from firewalls, proxies, virtual private networks (VPNs), and other sources.
These additional layers of visibility and event ingestion will significantly improve threat detection, threat hunting and response to suspicious activity.
Speaking on the acquisition, Mrs Joe Levy, chief technology officer, Sophos said, “You can’t protect what you don’t know is there, and businesses of all sizes often miscalculate their assets and attack surfaces, both on-premises and in the cloud. Attackers take advantage of this, often going after weakly protected assets as a means of initial access.
“Defenders benefit from an ‘air traffic control system’ that sees all network activity, reveals unknown and unprotected assets, and exposes evasive malware more reliably than Intrusion Protection Systems (IPS).”
“We’re particularly excited that Braintrace built this technology specifically to provide better security outcomes to their Managed Detection and Response (MDR) customers.
“It’s hard to beat the effectiveness of solutions built by teams of skilled practitioners and developers to solve real-world cybersecurity problems,” he added.
Sophos will deploy Braintrace’s NDR technology as a virtual machine, fed from traditional observability points such as a Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN) port or a network Test Access Point (TAP) to inspect both north-south traffic at boundaries or east-west traffic within networks.
These deployments help discover threats inside any type of network, including those that remain encrypted, serving as a complement to the decryption capabilities of Sophos Firewall.
The technology’s packet and flow engine feed a variety of machine learning models trained to detect suspicious or malicious network patterns, such as connections to Command and Control (C2) servers, lateral movement and communications with suspicious domains.
Since Braintrace built its NDR technology specifically for predictive, passive monitoring, its engine also provides intelligent network packet capture that IT security administrators and threat hunters can use as supporting evidence during investigations. The novel NDR analysis and prediction technique is patent pending.
On his part, Mr Bret Laughlin, CEO and co-founder of Braintrace said, “NDR is critical to successful threat hunting. Braintrace’s competitive differentiation is its unique NDR technology that our MDR analysts leveraged for finding, interrupting and remediating cyberattacks.
“With our own NDR technology, the team responds faster and more accurately because of the real-time, automated visibility and threat verification they have into encrypted traffic.
“We built Braintrace’s NDR technology from the ground up for detection and now, with Sophos, it will fit into a complete system to provide cross-product detection and response across a multi-vendor ecosystem.”
Braintrace’s NDR technology is a key component for defending against cyberattacks today and in the future.
Sophos research demonstrates how adversaries aggressively and constantly change tactics to evade detection and execute their attacks.
Braintrace’s technology helps uncover malicious C2 traffic from malware, such as ColbaltStrike, BazaLoader and TrickBot, as well as zero-days, that could lead to ransomware and other attacks. This visibility allows threat hunters and analysts to pre-empt any potential ransomware attack, including recent strikes by REvil and DarkSide.
Sophos plans to introduce Braintrace’s NDR technology for MTR and XDR in the first half of 2022.
What’s Next for the African Tech Revolution?
By Kay Akinwunmi
In many parts of Africa, a tech revolution is underway. It’s predicted 475 million people will be mobile internet users by 2025.
Devices, networks and emerging forms of technology are proliferating, not least in Nigeria which, through R&D, has the potential to become a regional leader in AI and Blockchain.
Driven by an exploding population, (the average age of which is just 19.7 years old), Africa can become a tech powerhouse.
According to the World Economic Forum, between 2015 and 2020 tech start-ups receiving financial backing was six times faster than the global average. Despite the challenge of retaining later-stage funding, it’s an exciting time to be an African tech start-up, whose strength lies in retaining a local identity.
When Uber launched in Nigeria, it was forced to change its payment options to include cash, and this is a small example of a much bigger truth: in Africa, models that work elsewhere can rarely – if ever – be replicated without some adjustments having to be made to cater for local tastes and modes of behaviour.
This is not unique to Africa: China’s WeChat, described as an “app for everything”, has an interface many Westerners would find awkward to use, ugly, or undesirable; the same is probably true of Western apps looked at from a Chinese point of view. And this is one reason why anyone starting a business for the African market must have a presence on the ground in Africa: so that whatever they build looks and feels local.
But it is also one reason why the tech boom is so exciting: it gives Africans the power to develop African products that are uniquely, visibly African. Africans are best-placed to identify African opportunities, as well as African problems. Through tech, they can develop solutions in a distinctly African way.
And this is something that has been denied to Africans for a long time. The reality is that big corporations can have a homogenising effect as they expand overseas, diluting local cultures.
Tech, though innately international and borderless, celebrates diversity by giving power to the individual, wherever they happen to be. And that means that over time, through tech, Africa will be able to shape its own commercial identity: its own principles around user experience, brand and design.
By giving companies and the products they produce a uniquely African identity – an identity that reflects African people and culture – tech can strengthen that culture and showcase it to the world.
Tech also has the power to help Africa address a wealth of more serious issues, some of which have not just been persistent but seemingly intractable.
EdTech, for example, provides a solution to limited access to education for Africans, especially in poorer rural areas. Start-ups like PataTutor, based in Kenya, connects students with qualified private or online tutors, while uLesson, based in Nigeria, sells digital curricula through SD cards.
HealthTech, too, could give Africans the means to speak to medical professionals via video call or assess any symptoms they might have. In 2020, capital for health tech start-ups on the continent rose 257.5 per cent from 2019, according to a Disrupt Africa report, spurred in part by the pandemic, which shed light on the gap in healthcare services and forced healthcare providers to adjust their models and digitalise quickly.
Increasing internet penetration also means that remote working is likely to increase across Africa, and that may mean that those working abroad can return home. Some in the diaspora are returning home already. And as the cost of data comes down and the internet gets faster, the tech wave will build and roll over more of the continent.
We may not even be able to conceive at this stage of the kinds of brands, products, services and new forms of technology that might emerge out of a bustling and uniquely African tech scene. And with all this comes greater foreign investment in Africa and less brain drain, which strips Africa of some of its most talented people.
There is still a way to go before Africa’s tech industries become sustainable and world-leading. Significant problems remain later-stage funding, supply chain disruption and cybercrime:
Nigeria has more tech hubs than any other country on the continent but is also plagued by mobile malware. But through innovation and the need to diversify its economy, Africa will advance. At Zazuu, we’re proud to be part of Africa’s growth, using tech to meet the needs of African people.
Kay Akinwunmi is the co-founder of Zazuu
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