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Security Alert: NCC Recommends Two-Factor Authentication to Secure WhatsApp

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Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC-CSIRT) has recommended that users of the popular messaging app, WhatsApp, set up Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) to avoid falling victim to account takeover by hackers.

NCC

In an advisory issued on Tuesday, NCC-CSIRT noted that WhatsApp, which is a Meta-owned service, is increasingly becoming a prime target for hackers and scammers who are always looking for ways to gain unauthorized access to users’ accounts.

The CSIRT described two-factor authentication (2FA) as an identity and access management security method that requires two forms of identification to access resources and data.

According to the advisory, “In the world of messaging apps, one of the most popular and recognizable is WhatsApp. WhatsApp is 100 per cent free to use, has a great mobile app, and supports audio and video calls. Whether you rely on WhatsApp for all your messaging needs or just use it from time to time, it is recommended to set it up with two-factor authentication (2FA). With this enabled, you will need to enter a custom PIN every time you log in to WhatsApp from a new device, adding an extra layer of security to your account.”

The Team said, “2FA gives businesses or people the ability to monitor and help safeguard their most vulnerable information and networks. The 2FA is important because it prevents cybercriminals from stealing, destroying, or accessing your internal data records for their own use”. The advisory stated.

The recommendation further states that, “WhatsApp provides two-factor authentication so you can further secure your account using a PIN. It is an optional feature that adds more security to your WhatsApp account, so it is recommended that everyone installs 2FA”.

The CSIRT stated ten steps for enabling 2FA on WhatsApp, which include the following steps:

Open WhatsApp, Tap Settings, Tap Account, Tap Two-Step Verification, Tap Enable, Enter the Six-Digit PIN you wish to use, Tap Next, then enter it a second time to confirm it, Tap Next, Add an email address for extra security (this step is optional but it is an extra way to retrieve your account if you forget your Pin) and then Tap Next.

For those concerned that their PIN might have been compromised or is easy to guess, they can change their WhatsApp PIN or email address by tapping settings.

Two-Step Verification, tapping Change PIN or Change Email Address, Entering a new PIN or email address, and then tapping ‘next’ to effect the necessary changes.

The CSIRT is the telecom sector’s cyber security incidence center set up by the NCC to focus on incidents in the telecom sector and as they may affect telecom consumers and citizens at large.

The CSIRT also works collaboratively with ngCERT, established by the Federal Government to reduce the volume of future computer risk incidents by preparing, protecting, and securing Nigerian cyberspace to forestall attacks, and problems or related events


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

Telecom

ITU, WATRA Join Forces to Enhance ICT Infrastructure Mapping in West Africa

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In a landmark initiative, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA) have announced a joint declaration aimed at strengthening collaboration on ICT infrastructure mapping across West Africa. This partnership is set to drive significant improvements in connectivity and socio-economic development throughout the region.

Both organizations emphasized the importance of comprehensive ICT infrastructure data and mapping in shaping effective infrastructure strategies. These data and maps are essential for connecting unserved and underserved communities, with Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) playing a crucial role in planning investments and making informed decisions.

Through this collaboration, ITU and WATRA aim to leverage their respective initiatives and projects, avoiding duplication of efforts and reducing costs. By harmonizing procedures for high-quality infrastructure mapping, the partnership will accelerate efforts to connect communities to the digital economy.

The joint declaration outlines several areas of cooperation, including joint advocacy, capacity building, and implementing ITU recommendations on geospatial information. Specific activities will include technical assistance, enhanced network planning, data analytics for decision-making, regional integration, and advocacy for transparency.

The collaboration aims to achieve multiple outcomes, including improved data consistency, informed infrastructure investment decisions, streamlined decision-making processes, increased regional integration, and enhanced transparency through web-based information access.

Aliyu Aboki, Executive Secretary of WATRA, highlighted the significance of this partnership: “WATRA is excited to partner with ITU on this vital initiative. Our collective efforts will not only enhance the quality of infrastructure mapping but also support our member states in making evidence-based decisions that will bridge the connectivity gap and foster economic growth.”

The joint advocacy efforts will focus on promoting the importance of gathering and managing infrastructure data for decision-making. Capacity-building initiatives will include sharing resources and conducting joint training sessions for member states to improve their infrastructure and broadband mapping capabilities.

Technical assistance will be provided to review and update infrastructure data, while capacity development efforts will enhance network planning insights, impacting infrastructure investment decisions across the region.

The partnership will also facilitate regional integration by sharing insights into network interconnection gaps and opportunities, promoting new infrastructure investments and partnerships. Additionally, it will advocate for improved transparency and stakeholder engagement through accessible web-based information on infrastructure.

The ITU-WATRA joint declaration marks a significant milestone in enhancing ICT infrastructure mapping in West Africa. By working together, ITU and WATRA aim to drive connectivity improvements and socio-economic development, ensuring that communities across the region are better integrated into the digital economy.


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Get Exclusive Rewards with TECNO’s Mid-Year Sales

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As we find ourselves right in the heart of the year, TECNO invites you to embark on an exhilarating journey with the TECNO Mid-Year Sales Promo! From June 10th to July 20th, 2024, get ready to immerse yourself in a world of incredible rewards that will make this season truly unforgettable!

When you choose any model from the TECNO CAMON 30 series, prepare to be amazed. Not only will you receive a fabulous CAMON Gift Box, but you’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy the convenience of Easybuy with a 0% interest rate.

Opting for the incredible TECNO POVA 6 NEO comes with an exciting N10,000 discount, a unique TECNO Accessory Gift, and the same 0% interest rate on Easybuy.

And if the TECNO SPARK 20 catches your eye, we’ve got something special for you too – 15GB of free data from GENENIX and a fantastic headset. Meanwhile, purchasers of the TECNO POP 8 will receive 15GB of free data from GENENIX and a delightful gift.

Participating in the TECNO Mid-Year Sales Promo is a breeze. Head to any of the authorised TECNO stores and get your hands on any of the fantastic TECNO devices mentioned above.

Alongside your purchase, you’ll receive your well-deserved gifts and a raffle ticket, granting you an incredible chance to win in the thrilling weekly draws across Nigeria.

This is your golden opportunity to enjoy mind-blowing discounts and exciting gifts, as well as being part of a lottery with extraordinary prizes.

During the weekly draws, luck smiled upon seven fortunate customers who were presented with rams on June 14th, marking the joyous celebration of Eid-el-Kabir. On June 28th and July 19th, fourteen weekly customers will also walk away with delightful food packs.

This promo is all about exceptional offers that elevate the joy of your festivities and make your mid-year shine brighter.

Visit TECNO-authorised stores to acquire your new TECNO device and enter a season filled with rewards and celebrations. TECNO is committed to making your mid-year more radiant and fulfilling.

Come and be a part of this festive season and let TECNO bring you more joy and rewards.

Remember, the more you purchase, the greater your chances of winning. For more information, follow TECNO on Facebook, Instagram, and X.


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MTN Foundation Leads Successful Anti-Substance Abuse Advocacy Walk in Lagos

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The MTN Foundation, through its Anti-Substance Abuse Programme (ASAP), recently held an advocacy walk in Lagos aimed at raising awareness and combating drug abuse.

The walk started at the NDLEA Office in Gbagada and ended at the Ikeja Military Cantonment on Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Maryland, covering a distance of 10.2 km.

This event saw the active participation of the Lagos State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Mobolaji Ogundele; Assistant Commander General, Narcotics, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Dr. Segun Oke; Executive Director, MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya; among other key stakeholders.

The Lagos advocacy walk is part of a broader campaign by the MTN Foundation to discourage first-time use and casual substance abuse nationwide. The campaign has already seen a successful walk held in Port Harcourt and Abuja, with upcoming events planned for Kano.

Community-based approaches to advocacy walks are crucial as they engage local populations directly, cultivating a sense of ownership and collective responsibility in addressing substance abuse. Such grassroots initiatives can effectively tailor messages and interventions to meet the specific needs of the community, ensuring a more impactful and sustainable outcome.

The Lagos advocacy walk, by involving diverse stakeholders and sectors, exemplifies this approach, promoting widespread awareness and encouraging proactive measures against drug abuse.

Commenting on the success of the advocacy walk, the Executive Director of the MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya, stated, “The Lagos advocacy walk was a resounding success, showcasing the power of collective action in addressing the critical issue of substance abuse.

“The strong turnout and enthusiastic participation reflect our community’s deep commitment to building a drug-free society.

“At the MTN Foundation, we believe that through continued education, empowerment, and collaboration with key stakeholders, we can create a safer and healthier environment for our youth.

The advocacy walk not only served as a platform to raise awareness but also as a call to action for all members of the community to join hands in the fight against drug abuse.

As the MTN Foundation continues to expand its Anti-Substance Abuse Programme across Nigeria, it remains steadfast in its mission to promote preventive measures, engage communities, and implement evidence-based strategies.

Through these sustained efforts, the Foundation aims to build a resilient and drug-free generation, contributing to the long-term socio-economic stability and well-being of the nation.


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