Malawi could be a soft spot for cyber criminals largely because cell phone SIM cards are easily available, making it difficult to track the shrewd law-breakers, a government official has said.
Speaking on the sidelines of a special workshop on children and technology in Lilongwe on Tuesday, Principal Secretary for Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Mary Shawa said more needs to be done to protect the country from cyber crime.
She said: “Our Internet or ICT systems are porous and this puts the country at a higher risk of being attacked by cyber criminals. Another problem is that SIM cards are cheap and easily accessible even to people with evil intentions.”
Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) director of broadcasting Fergus Lipenga said despite ICT being important to people’s health, education, economy and security, the advancement of technology has brought with it unprecedented serious challenges which are affecting Malawi.
“For instance, cyber crime which is now a major issue of concern for billions of Internet users and businesses around the world, is a major challenge that is threatening our online transactions and activities,” he said.
International Telecommunication Union representative Chali Tumelo said 30 percent of the world youth have been online for five years and more are still using ICTs, even without the knowledge of their parents.
“Children need to be told of the dangers of ICTs and parents must be vigilant to know what their children are accessing on their phones and e-mails,” said Tumelo. n