Introduction to Cyber Security 101

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Technology and the internet of things is transforming the world and how things are being done, directly or indirectly affecting our lives and societies in ways we cannot regulate.

As part of creating awareness on some threats technology can pose, the Media General Group on Thursday, April 25 organized  the maiden Technology Festival  dubbed “techfest 1.0”  with Cyber Security as the subject matter discussed, which I couldn’t agree more, seeing it as a essential topic to discuss in the tech space.

The event was in two sessions, an exhibition in the morning at the courtyard which had tech startups and developers who showcased their products and services and a forum in the afternoon held at the executive theatre where stakeholders had applicable digital dialogues and know-hows that will keep us prepared for the new age of technology.

Top tech experts including Afia Darko Asante NCSC manager for Capacity building and awareness creation, Victor Gordon Nyamadi Cyber Security Solutions Manager at Vodafone Ghana and Ethical Hacker and Network Consulting Engineer, Pratap Jantua, lead the conversation on cyber security.

Mr. Nyamadi, a cyber-security solutions manager at Vodafone Ghana, in his presentation, shed a light on some of the impending risks in the cyber space. He advised that phone lines that give echo during calls risk being tapped, and must be scrapped as soon as possible saying it could be a man-in-the-middle job or the call is being intercepted.

 

“When you receive a call, usually we say echo, and you can hear your own voice, I encourage you to run away from that line,” he warned.

He went on to advice that all voicemails be deactivated if not in use, stating that attackers in recent times use it to take over the whatsapp of unsuspecting victims.

He also advised on getting help from experts when it comes to configuration and resetting of devices before giving them away.

“Usually, attackers wait till they are able to make the maximum impact. It is always better to call for experts to help with configuration and validation of our configuration” he noted.

Emphasizing on privacy and the future of individuals, Victor Nyamadi advised on controlling how one discloses issues about oneself on the internet, especially personal information.  “We should be wary of sharing information on social media; especially that of our kids” he said.

Ethical hacker and network consulting engineer Pratap Jantua, acknowledged that device users can still protect themselves if they have knowledge in cyber security. After he called to attention how the public is at the mercy of unfriendly individuals as well as corporations who are collecting data about users in order to profile them for advertising and other purposes.

 

With a live demonstration, he explained with ease how unprotected and gullible the  end user is in the cyber world of callous hackers and provided tips on how to secure one’s device and information by demonstrating with initiating commands, using secure websites and apps. “As an end user you should be smart in searching” he said. He demonstrated how to search for things quickly and easily by using certain skills and apps.

He demonstrated how to detect virus on a computer as well as on websites through virustotal.com, as well as pressing the F12 button when in a browser to check for security details and your safety as a browser. He also demonstrated how one can use spokoe.com to verify authentication of sites.

The forum ended with a Question and Answer session where Afia Darko Asante of National Cyber Security Centre urged people to report fraud alerts connected to phone calls to the Cyber Crime Unit of the CID Office.

 

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