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Five Helpful Ways To Avoid Online Identity Theft

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Identity theft is very common today because more people have access to the internet. In addition, almost everyone has a presence online, thanks to social media. This is why many celebrities verify their social media accounts to prevent impersonation.

So, what happens to persons who cannot verify their accounts? You may probably be at the mercy of those who impersonate you to rip off friends and family. It doesn’t have to be this way. Jumia Travel shares 5 helpful ways to avoid online identity theft.

Don’t Disclose Too Much Info On Social Media
The easiest way for anyone to get information about anyone is via their social media account. Many of us tell it all on social media from personal phone numbers, house address, emails as well as other sensitive information that other people don’t need to know.

Shop On Secure Websites
There are so many e-commerce websites where you can shop. Of course, you can shop on all of them.

However, to prevent identity you should shop on popular ones that are safe and secured. You are assured that your personal information will not end up in the wrong hands.

Protect Your Wireless Network
Protecting your wireless network is a way to prevent identity theft. If anyone can access your wireless effortlessly, they have access to the personal online activities.

Through this, they can get your personal profile which makes it easier to impersonate you. Always password your wireless network.

Download From Safe Websites
The rule of thumb for anyone who downloads any data online is to download from a safe website.

If you don’t, you may download virus or software that allows hackers or impersonators to steal sensitive information.

Use A Unique Password
Using a unique password has been over flogged. A weak password leaves you vulnerable to all kinds of attack especially if all your information is online.

Importantly, you should try as much as possible to avoid using the same password for all your accounts.

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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E-Business

Cybercrime Profits Estimated at $1.5 trillion

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New criminal platforms and a booming cybercrime economy have resulted in $1.5 trillion in illicit profits being acquired, laundered, spent and reinvested by attackers.

This was one of the findings of a study commissioned by Bromium, a virtualisation-based endpoint security company.

Called ‘Into the Web of Profit’, the study was conducted by Dr Mike McGuire, senior lecturer in criminology at Surrey University, and draws from first-hand interviews with convicted cybercriminals, data from international law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, and covert observations conducted across the dark Web.

The Web of profit

According to Bromium, the study is one of the first studies to examine the dynamics of cybercrime by scrutinising revenue flow and profit distribution, instead of the mechanisms of cybercrime alone.

It looks at the cybercrime-based economy and the professionalisation of cybercrime. “This economy has become a self-sustaining system, an interconnected Web of profit that blurs the lines between the legitimate and illegitimate.”

Conservative estimates

The research shows cybercriminal revenues worldwide of at least $1.5 trillion, the same as the GDP of Russia, a number Bromium calls a ‘conservative estimate’. “If cybercrime was a country, it would have the 13th highest GDP in the world.”

This figure includes $860 billion made from illicit or illegal online markets, $500 billion from theft of trade secrets and intellectual property, $160 billion in data trading, $1.6 billion for Crimeware-as-a-Service, and $1 billion from ransomware.

According to the report, the dark economy is made up of a variety of operations, from large ‘multinational’ operations that rake in profits of over $1 billion, to SME-style entities where profits of between $300 00 and $50 000 are expected.

Platform criminality

In addition, the research revealed an emergence of ‘platform criminality’, mirroring the platform capitalism model employed by businesses such as Uber and Amazon, where data itself is the commodity. New criminality models are enabled by these platforms, which, in turn, fund broader scourges such as human trafficking, drugs and terrorism.

Gregory Webb, CEO of Bromium, says the report delivered ‘shocking insight’ into how profitable and widespread cybercrime really is.

“The platform criminality model is productising malware and making cybercrime as easy as shopping online. Not only is it easy to access cybercriminal tools, services and expertise, it means enterprises and governments alike are going to see more sophisticated, costly and disruptive attacks.”

A range of agents

The report also suggests that cybercrime shouldn’t be strictly compared to business, as by nature it is more like an economy, with a ‘hyper-connected range of economic agents, economic relationships and other factors’ that work together to generate, support and maintain criminal revenues at an ‘unprecedented scale’, says McGuire.

Because legitimate businesses and nation states are now profiting from cybercrime, the study believes there is now an interdependence between the legitimate and illegitimate economies. Organisations are acquiring data and competitive advantage from the dark economy, and using it as a tool for strategy, global advancement and social control, says Bromium.

“There is a range of ways in which many leading and respectable online platforms are now implicated in enabling or supporting crime (albeit unwittingly, in most cases),” says McGuire.

No hope of control

Ilia Kolochenko, CEO of web security company High-Tech Bridge, says the report is 100% right in saying that cybercrime has become a highly profitable and sustainable business that no government can hope to control.

However, he suggests that it may have missed some figures, because the most serious cybercrimes, such as nation-state attacks or offensive operations from large conglomerates against competitors, are rarely detected, yet alone exposed.

“Publicly accessible platforms in the dark Web have a lot of scam and fake ads intertwined with law enforcement honeypots, too,” adds Kolochenko.

And he says the fight against cybercrime isn’t getting easier. “Professional Black Hats usually have inconspicuous private platforms, lawfully hosted in AWS or Azure, with full encryption of all data. You cannot get access unless you are a long-standing and verified partner.

“Nothing is less certain than global cybercrime size and volume,” concludes Kolochenko.

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NOTAP Targets Tech Advancement with IPTTO

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National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has expressed optimism that setting up Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office (IPTTO) would lead to fast tracked technological advancement of the country.

 

Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim, director general of NOTAP,  disclosed this during the commissioning ceremony 42nd Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office (IPTTO) at the Umaru Musa Yar’adua University, Katsina (UMYU).

 

Represented by Mr. Adamu Tandama, director Consultancy Services of the agency; Ibrahim said NOTAP in 2006 initiated the programme in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) but became fully operational in 2007 with the establishment of five Offices as pilot Institutions.

 

He pointed out that the establishment of IPTTO in some Nigerian knowledge institutions was to create awareness on the importance of intellectual property, its protection as well as fast-track the technological advancement of the nation.

 

He added that in the cause of registration of technology transfer agreements which is one of the major functions of the Office, NOTAP realized that over 90 percent of the technology that powers the Nigerian economy was foreign and for a country that strives to be among the twenty richest nations of the world in 2020, the situation was unacceptable.

 

He further stated that what differentiates developed and developing countries are the number of inventions and innovations emanating from their knowledge institutions, stressing that whereas the knowledge institutions of the developed countries are carrying out researches that will provide solutions to human problems, researchers in the developing countries carry out researches as mere academic works and for career progression.

 

Dr. Ibrahim reiterated that while some of the IPTTO’s established have started turning out patents and some commercialisable inventions, others are struggling to build their inventive and innovative culture which was apparently very weak.

 

Prof. Idris Isa Funtua, Vice Chancellor of UMYU, in his address, thanked NOTAP for counting the institution worthy of benefiting from the IPTTO programme.

 

He said the University was established eleven years ago to promote academic excellence and that the establishment of IPTTO will boost their research and development drive to attain the desired technological development.

 

He said no country can develop without giving science and technology the pride of place, adding that the establishment of IPTTO in the Institution will refocus their research attention to a more demand and market driven research rather than just for academic purposes.

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Ecobank Launches Fintech Challenge Competition for African Start-Ups

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Ade Ayeyemi, Ecobank Group CEO

Ecobank. the leading pan-African banking group, is inviting African fintech entrepreneurs to enter its Ecobank Fintech Challenge.

 

Now in its second year, the initiative gives African start-ups the chance to promote their fintech solutions, and potentially to partner Ecobank in rolling-out their solutions across Ecobank’s 33 markets.

 

Ecobank is currently welcoming submissions from all start-ups and developers in any of Africa’s 54 countries to enter its 2018 Ecobank Fintech Challenge at http://EcobankFintech.com

 

10 Finalists will be selected to participate in an Awards and Innovation Fair at the global headquarters of Ecobank in Lomé, Togo in July 2018.

 

Following a series of pitches from the finalists, a panel of judges will select the top three winners, who will receive cash prizes worth $10,000, $7,000, and $5,000 respectively.

 

All 10 finalists will also be conferred Ecobank Fintech Fellows and will qualify to explore opportunities to partner with Ecobank including:

 

Multi-national product roll-out: the most commercially viable start-ups can launch their products in Ecobank’s 33 markets across Africa

Service provider partner deals: start-ups with deep capabilities to become pan-African service partners within Ecobank’s ecosystem

Mentoring and networking support: founders will be conferred as Ecobank Innovation Fellows for a year, which grants them access to networking and mentoring from Ecobank’s vast global network of technology leaders, fintech experts, investors and management coaches.

 

Mr. Ade Ayeyemi, Group CEO, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, reiterated Ecobank’s dedication to support innovations in banking and finance across the continent, stating, “We, at Ecobank, believe that the current winds of change led by technology and innovation will redefine how banks do business, and indeed the relationships people have with their money. We want to be at the forefront of this change, in partnership with Africa’s rising start-ups, and that is why we created the Ecobank Fintech Challenge”.

 

Mr. Eddy Ogbogu, Ecobank Group Executive for Operations and Technology said, “The maiden 2017 edition of the Challenge proved that Africa has an impressive army of highly capable fintech start-ups. Ecobank is looking forward to another successful competition.”

 

Ecobank Fintech Challenge was designed in partnership with the advisory firm Konfidants and is supported by several partners across Africa and globally. Applications for the competition will close on 20th May, 2018.

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