Press Release: CyberSmartBW Challenge helps young people defeat online hackers

With more and more online accounts being hacked, sometimes with devastating consequences, the Campaign will help people understand how they can stay safe

Are you cybersmart? Do you know the tricks cyber hackers rely on to get into your online accounts? That is the question posed by the CyberSmartBW Challenge, launched on Monday September 28. It is a one-month campaign that will run through the month of October 2020 targeting young people in particular. The goal is to help young people stay safe online. As an incentive the campaign is offering prizes of tablets and cash prizes.

Cyber-attacks are a rapidly growing phenomenon. Google has reported 100 million phishing attacks per day worldwide of its email accounts alone. This comes at a time when a growing number of services and transactions are available online quickly and easily. And during the lockdown, we have been spending more time online. – doing homework, talking to family and friends, completing online transactions.  A fact not lost on the hackers.

That is why the European Union-funded Cyber Resilience for Development (Cyber4Dev) Project came together with local partners the eBotho Cyber Awareness Campaign, Change Africa, the National Youth Council and BOCRA to launch a campaign in Botswana. The aim is to help them understand the type of tricks and vulnerabilities hackers rely on, and how they can protect themselves.

Once people have been the victim of a cyber-attack, they are vulnerable to identity theft, harassment, blackmail or even financial scams.

According to H.E Mr Jan Sadek, Ambassador of the European Union to Botswana, “young people in particular are vulnerable thanks to their curiosity and desire to connect online. As this is a relatively new technology with which often times parents and even teachers are not very expert, they are having to learn a cyber-culture and etiquette without the usual guidance’.

Throughout the month the campaign will also be organizing online information sessions and radio and tv campaigns. Young people are also encouraged to take an online quiz to help them understand if their cyber security awareness is up to scratch.

The CyberSmartBW Challenge will comprise a competition open to anyone from the age of 14 to 21. In one short video, statement or post they will be asked to express creatively an important risk that comes from poor cyber security and give an important tip that anyone can take to help keep themselves.

  • A recorded statement (max two minutes). This can be a poem, a rap, a speech, a statement.
  • A video for YouTube, tik-tok, Facebook (max 2 minutes)
  • A poster of Instagram-style post design.

Entries should be sent through whattsapp to 730 33 777, with full names and location of the entrant.

Deadline for submissions is October 30, 2020 and the winners will be invited to a ceremony in November to receive a tablet and cash prizes.

For more information, please contact David Moepeng. Email: Call/What’sapp: +267 712 11 712

Back ground data about growth of internet use benefits and hacks

Botswana, like most emerging economies, has been on an accelerated drive to join the digital revolution. Adoption of digital technologies in various spheres of society has seen internet penetration in the country grow by over 600% between 2010 and 2020 (from 6% to 47%). This rapid adoption of internet means more Batswana are becoming vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The Cyber4Dev Project is an initiative by the EU to support developing nations develop skills and knowledge as well as national strategies for cyber resilience. Botswana is among the countries benefiting from this support.

By 2020 it is estimated that the number of devices across the world connected to the internet will reach 50 billion.