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General News of Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Source: CRTV

Gov't expresses worry over fake social media accounts

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In a communique recently signed by the Director of Cabinet in the Prime Minister’s Office, Louis Paul Motaze, Cameroonians were informed that unscrupulous persons have created fake Facebook accounts, impersonating the Prime Minister, Philemon Yang.

This is just one of the many cases of fake online profiles, especially attributed to top government officials, businessmen, the government and private institutions.

The usurping of identities of state officials over social networking sites has prompted the government to caution internet users on the need to be vigilant concerning information placed online.

The most recurrent of such offences has been recorded on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Instagram, Google+, amongst others.

While some criminals create profiles with the names of top government officials in order to dupe ignorant internet users or defame the officials, others do so to extort huge sums of money from foreigners; a practice generally referred to as scamming.

The International Criminal Police and National Security as well as other specialised agencies, are presently at work to track down the criminals.

Notably, through available technological advancement, (Internet Protocol (IP) Addresses) it is possible to locate the user of a particular computer at any given time.

In Cameroon, December 21, 2010, law on electronic communication specifies sanctions for crimes associated with the misuse of ICTs.

The National Agency for Information and Communication Technologies (ANTIC) and the Telecommunications Regulatory Board (ART) also have the expertise to track down cyber criminals.

Given the present situation of scamming and impersonation, experts are calling on internet users to be careful with personal information made available.

The experts proposed the following security measures:

- No clicks on doubtful links

- No reply to doubtful mails

- No sharing of personal information especially to doubtful persons

- Use complex passwords and do not save them on your telephone

- Keep passwords private

- Do not save passwords on browser

- Regularly delete browser history

- Denounce defaulters to the police, Interpol officers or any other agency specialised in the fight against cyber criminality.

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