Rural communities need to be educated on cyber security

26 Sep, 2022 - 10:09 0 Views
Rural communities need to be educated on cyber security Zezani residents follow proceedings during a community engagement on cyber scamming at Zezani Community Hall

The Chronicle

Bongani Ndlovu, Chronicle Reporter

MORE needs to be done to teach rural communities about cyber security and their rights as consumers to reduce chances of being swindled online.

These were some of the outcomes of an outreach programme by Government, held at the Zezani Community Hall in Matabeleland South Province on Friday.

The community in the area speaks predominantly Sotho and Venda languages.

In line with the President’s philosophy of leaving no place and no one behind, Government engaged villagers in financial literacy in terms of mobile financial services, curbing cyberbullying and cyber security and other Government services.

Partners that include Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ), Consumer Protection Commission (CPC) the Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) were at Zezani Business Centre for the outreach.

POTRAZ presented the topic, Choosing a Mobile Handset, Passwords and Cyberbullying, CCZ presented about Consumer Rights and Responsibilities in the Postal and Telecommunications Sector and RBZ spoke about Mobile Financial Services

PRAZ and CPC presented topics about the role of the organisation, while the Police engaged the community on how to curb cybercrime and where they can get recourse.

During deliberations, some community members pointed out that they were not aware of the dangers of cybercrimes and others in interviews said they have experienced some form of online scams.

Mrs Sophie Ndlovu said the outreach by Government was an eye opener.

“I received a message that I had won money and I should send my pin code and bank card. It seemed strange to me and after today’s engagement, I now know that there are thieves out there who can steal money from us via our phones.

“This engagement was fruitful because l did not know anything about fraud, cyber security and the RBZ presentation was an eye-opener, especially in this community where people use the South African Rand mostly,” said Mrs Ndlovu.

Another villager Ms Fry Ncube called for more such engagements.

“I didn’t know that there were thieves who could steal from us from our phones. This engagement is good for us as a people and we have learnt a lot. More of such engagements should be done frequently,” said Ms Ncube.

The youth in the area said many have been harassed online and did not know how to deal with the cases.

Miss Rachel Tlou (22) said the outreach made her realise that she can report cyberbullies to the police.

“As a young person I spend a lot of time on social media and there are some people who bully us, especially on WhatsApp. Now I know that when they do that, I’ll report them to the police, because of the Cyber Law,” said Miss Tlou.

Miss Moreblessing Singo 20 Whunga Village said it was important for youths to know their rights.

“I will be an ambassador and spread the word in the village on cyberbullying as many of my peers have been harassed and do not know how to deal with such cases,” said Miss Singo.

POTRAZ Consumer Affairs Manager, Mr Phibion Chaibva said the engagement was successful.

“This is a programme that will be taken to all provinces as stakeholders try to reach out to marginalised areas. The objective is to leave no one behind in terms of digital financial literacy and also teach our elders on cyber security so that they can safeguard their funds and curb identity theft,” said Mr Chaibva.

–  @bonganinkunzi

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