By Etuka Sunday
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), would like to bring to the attention of the general public, especially those in the cyber space, the existence of fake websites in circulation, trying to capitalize on the COVID-19 pandemic to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians.
In NITDA’s efforts at ensuring a safe and secure Nigerian cyberspace, the Agency’s Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT) identified a number of websites using various phishing tricks to attract Internet users.
One of such tricks is misinforming the public that Federal Government has approved the disbursement of funds under a fictitious vote called “Lockdown Funds”. It then requires the user to complete an online form with their personal information including bank details for the payment to be effected.
The Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Mrs Hadiza Umar, said, while NITDA is doing everything possible to shut down the websites identified as well as sanction those behind them, we call on the general public to disregard and report any such websites to the Agency for necessary action.
Furthermore, in NITDA’s efforts to checkmate cyber security threats and possible data breach under Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), Internet users are advised to observe the following: not to give out their personal information to anyone online; avoid clicking unknown links; disregard offers requesting for their bank details; and
know what to do when they become victims of cybercrime.
The Agency calls on all well-meaning Nigerians to intensify their efforts in supporting the Federal Government in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all encouraged to strictly adhere to the recommendations given by health experts, and follow updates from the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and other relevant Agencies involved in the management of the psndemic.
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is a Federal Government Agency under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. NITDA was established in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy as well as coordinate general IT development and regulation in the country.
Specifically, Section 6(a, b, c & m) of the Act mandates NITDA to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices, activities and systems in Nigeria; provide guidelines to facilitate the establishment and maintenance of appropriate infrastructure for information technology and systems application and development in Nigeria for public and private sectors, urban-rural development, the economy and the government; and accelerate internet and intranet penetration in Nigeria and promote sound internet Governance by giving effect to the Second Schedule of the Act.