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EU backs Botswana’s effort to combat cybercrime

Botswana’s Minister of Transport and Communications Thulaganyo Segokgo has urged citizens, particularly the youth, to be more aware of risks with online use.

Segokgo called for ‘a cybersmart community’ and said the youth are an easy target for online scammers. “With all its benefits, digital technology can harbour risks that, if users are not empowered to prevent, can cause harm to their digital assets, finances and, in worse cases, expose lives to danger. As the digital era continues to grow, trends have shown that with the increase in the use of digital technology, is a proliferation in cybersecurity threats such as cybercrime, malware attacks, cyber bullying, misinformation and many others.”

The Minister highlighted that the number of internet-enabled devices and apps used daily have led to an increase in the level of sophistication when it comes to hacking and cyber-attacks.

“Cybercrime has also continued to adapt”, warned Segokgo.

The European Union (EU), through the Cyber4Development project, has supported Botswana in its effort to increase cybersecurity awareness.

Jan Sadek, EU ambassador to Botswana and SADC said the digital sector is one of the fastest evolving economic and social areas, worldwide, creating opportunities for sustainable development and inclusive growth.

“The European Union has been working with partners, including Botswana, promoting the establishment of a secure digital infrastructure. This is why we as the EU established the Cyber4Dev project.

“Through this project, we are working with our partners to strengthen cyber-security, help prevent incidents, such as cyber-attacks to critical infrastructure, and when they occur, be able to respond quickly and efficiently,” said Sadek.

Stanbic Bank Botswana has warned the public against unscrupulous companies and individuals, defrauding unsuspecting businesses, disguising as genuine suppliers of goods and services.

Christopher Gwere, Head of Risk and Corporate Affairs at the institution, said, “One key red flag to look out for is the purported supplier not willing to share more information about themselves, or if the banking details they provide for payment are in the form of a private name and not a company name.”

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