ANTIC schools journalists on cybercrime reporting

27 May 2024
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Some 50 media practitioners grouped under the Development Advocacy Welfare Network (DAWN) Association are upgrading their understanding of cybercrime for effective reporting at a two-day workshop co-organised by ANTIC in partnership with The DAWN.

The workshop which takes place, 23-24 May 2024 in Yaouande seeks to equip journalists with relevant knowledge and skills that would help them to report on cybercrime cases accurately, ethically, effectively and in doing so, contribute to the responsible use of ICTs as well as enable ICT users to pre-empt and prevent cybercrime.

ANTIC’s Head of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing Unit, Ngwainbi Afuh Percy officially opened the workshop  on behalf of the Director General of ANTIC, Prof Ebot Ebot Enaw.

In his remarks, the representative of the Director General of ANTIC, noted that ICTs have become an integral part of everyday life, enabling users to study, buy or sell, carry out medical consultations as well as banking transactions, share information and get feedback from government services from the comfort of their homes with just a simple click via e-learning, e-commerce, e-health, e-banking and e-government platforms.

Despite the benefits offered by digital technologies, their adoption and use have equally triggered a new form of crime known as cybercrime which has emerged as one of the newest and most challenging form of delinquency in Cameroon due to the exponential increase in Internet penetration rate in the country from 4.3% in 2010 to over 45.6% in 2023.

Ngwainbi further noted that the fight against cybercrime - the so-called “crime of the future”, requires a comprehensive approach that cuts across constant evolving legislation and responsive technology to the propagation of cybersecurity knowledge in a bid to equip everyone with the required preventive arsenal against the ever-changing phenomenon of cybercrime.

In this light, he entreated journalists to make cybercrime reporting,  production and broadcast of cybersecurity content a priority in their newsrooms in a bid to help ICT users make informed choices and curb recurrent cybercrimes in Cameroon notably: identity theft, scamming, phishing, web-defacement, skimming and fake news.

With regard to identity theft which is the creation of fake social media accounts, with personal identifying information of someone else for the purpose of cyber blackmail or extortion,  ANTIC has since 2018 detected over 6,650 fake accounts of which 4,625 have been closed down thanks to the existing collaboration between ANTIC and Facebook. Most incidents of identity theft in Cameroon target high profile state dignitaries and State institutions.

Statictics equally indicate that Cameroonian banks have lost a colossal sum of FCFA 6 billion since 2023 to skimming which is  a technique used to carry out bank card fraud by fraudulently retrieving bank card data thanks to a special device inserted into cash dispensers, and then using this data to duplicate the bankcard and debit victims’ accounts.

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