The internet has helped to improve the performance factor, the term Internet is defined as the collection of computers that provides a network of electronic connections between different computers. There are lots of computers connected to the internet. With the benefits of the use of Internet comes with cyber-crime which is associated with the use of the internet (Saini, Rao, & Panda, 2012).
Causes of Cybercrimes in Nigeria
According to Hassan, 2012. The following are some of the causes of cybercrime in Nigeria.
- High unemployment rate is one of the major causes of Cybercrime in Nigeria. Statistics has shown that over 20 million graduates in the country are not gainfully employed. This has automatically increased the rate at which they take part in criminal activities for their survival.
- Quest for Wealth is another cause of cybercrime in Nigeria. Youths of nowadays are very greedy, they are not ready to start small hence, they strive to level up with their rich counterparts by engaging in cybercrimes.
- Harsh economic conditions, and poor educational system.
- Lack of strong Cyber Crime Laws also encourages the perpetrators to commit more crime knowing that they can always go scot free.
The government should therefore ensure that cybercrime laws are formulated and strictly adhered as such criminals will not go unpunished and awareness should be created for individuals to observe simple rules of safeguarding the computer system by installing antivirus protection and update it often.
Cybercrimes in the Banking Sector
In Nigeria, the banking sector depends mainly on the internet for business survival. Presently, banks all over the world are taking advantage and incorporating opportunities brought about by e-banking which is believed to have started in the early 1980’s (Shandilya, 2011). As this sector build stronger security level, these fraudsters also increase their strength and tactics. Several profitable attacks have been launched and unfortunately, many have succeeded. In general, cybercriminals execute fraudulent activities with the ultimate goal of accessing a user’s bank account to either steal or/and transfer funds to another bank account without legal authorization. However, there are cases of disgruntled employees causing physical damage to their personal computers, with the aim to get back at their superiors and organization, the intention of cybercriminals is to cause damage to the reputation of the bank by denying service to users and sabotaging data in computer networks of organizations (Parthiban, 2014).
Bank Verification Number (BVN) Scams: The BVN is a biometric identification system which consists of an 11-digit number that acts as a universal ID across all the banks in Nigeria. BVN was implemented in 2015 by the Central Bank of Nigeria. It was introduced to link various accounts to the owner thereby ensuring that fraudulent activities are reduced. For fraudsters, opportunities to extort money and to carry out other fraudulent activities arose from the implementation of the BVN. It was discovered that fake and unauthorized text messages and phone calls were sent to many users demanding for personal information such as BVN numbers and account details. In addition, phishing sites were created to acquire such information for insalubrious activities on the bank account.
Phishing: Phishing is simply the theft of an identity. It involves stealing personal information from unsuspecting users and it is also an act of fraud against the authentic, authorized businesses and financial institutions that are victimized (Wada, 2014).
Theft of Bank Cards: The theft of bank cards has evolved from the physical theft of the card to simply the theft of the numbers. Today, bank card hackers do not need to be in the same country to steal other people’s identities. Fraudsters make use of hidden cameras to record ATM card pins and numbers in distinct places such as an eatery payment using POS, or at the ATM. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a method known as ATM skimming can be used and it involves placing an electronic device on an ATM that exposes information from a bank card’s magnetic strip each time a customer uses the machine (FBI, 2011). Also, another cybercrime carried out via this means in Nigeria includes internet order fraud. An internet order fraud involves fraudster inputting stolen cards numbers on online commercial sites to order goods. Credit card numbers or ATM numbers can be stolen by hackers when users type the credit card number into the Internet page of the seller for online transaction. Different applications can be used to retrieve this information such as key loggers at cybercafés or cloned websites.
Cyber-theft / Banking Fraud: Hackers target the vulnerabilities in the security of various bank systems and transfer money from innumerable accounts to theirs. Most cybercriminals transfer small amounts like 5 naira which are sometimes ignored without raising questions with assumption that it was either SMS or ATM withdrawal charges. Doing this for over a million accounts enriches most fraudsters.
Cybercrimes in the e-Commerce Sector: The Nigerian economy, including the enormous amount of e- businesses, is greatly threatened by the rapid increase of cyber-crimes. E-commerce refers to the use of technology, particularly the Internet, to buy, sell and market goods and services to customers (Michael, 2014). Very few cyber-crimes are discovered in this sector because most businesses fear the loss from negative publicity than the crimes involved. In a recent article by This Day and Vanguard, Senator Iroegbu estimated the annual cost of cybercrime to Nigeria at about 0.08% of the county’s Gross Domestic products (GDP) which amounts to approximately 127 billion Naira (Ewepu, 2016).
Prevention of cyber-crimes:
- Make use of Strong Passwords and keep privilege accounts protected.
- Secure your computer systems and application with antivirus
- Set your social media profiles to private
- Secure your Mobile Devices
- Install the latest operating system updates
- Protect your Data and ensure security of the wireless network
- Protect your e-identity
- Educate users and create cyber security awareness to avoid being scammed.
- Do not allow users to install or execute unapproved or untrusted applications
Cybercrime is a menace that needs be eradicated or reduced to the barest minimum for our great nation to break even. Users of the cyber space should play a vital role in protecting themselves from cyber-criminals. With cyber-attacks becoming more sophisticated and widespread, companies must take stronger measures to prevent and tackle them.
Individuals should observe simple rules, individuals on their part should ensure proper anti-malware protection on their computer system, and individual should be encouraged to avoid pirate software, never to share their Identification Number (PIN), bank account, email access code to unknown persons. It is recommended that our government should make the welfare and wellbeing of the citizens of paramount importance to lessen the burden of individuals by providing good paying jobs and other basic amenities. This will in no little way make life comfortable for people hence reduce their participation in criminal activities for survival. Moreover, since youths are the most involved in this crime, there is need for them to be orientated, educated and empowered for the country to have a greater future .