from SAMBULO DLAMINI in Mbabane, Eswatini
MBABANE – ESWATINI suffered losses of L177 million (US$9,4 million) as a result of cyber crime between January 2022 to June 2023.
Worryingly, 60 percent of child trafficking cases afflicting the country are attributed to social media platforms.
Government officials have revealed the trends as the kingdom nation marks November as the Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
The Ministry of Information Communication and Technology has launched the initiative under the theme, “Tivikele. Be Cybersmart.”
It encourages locals to adopt secure online behaviour and aims to build capabilities to prevent cyber threats as well as promote the reporting of cyber indents.
“Tivikele” translates to “protect yourself” in the local Swati.
“Cybercrime is rising exponentially within our borders,” Phesheya Dube, Information Communication and Technology Principal Secretary, lamented.
He said of the L177 million Eswatini lost to cybercrime during the above-mentioned period, online fraud accounting for a significant 95 percent of that cost.
Phesheya described as a deeply concerning trend the increase in child trafficking cases, with a majority originating from social media platforms.
“We would like to reiterate our commitment to eradicating such heinous acts that threaten the moral fibre of our society,” he said.
Phesheya urged for the collective efforts of all stakeholders including government agencies, businesses, educational institutions and citizens to tackle these challenges.
Eswatini Communications Commission Chief Executive, Mvilawemphi Dlamini, commented.
“This enormous task of ensuring online safety in Eswatini lies on our shoulders because we cannot have a robust economy without the necessary safeguards for citizens. Cyber threats can lead to financial losses and reputation damage,” Dlamini said.
– CAJ News