Majority of Ghanaian Members of Parliament (MPs) and Ministers of State have been impersonated on social media by hackers, the Minister of Communications, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has said.
According to her, the practice has become rampant due to lack of awareness on cyber-security on the part of many Ghanaians.
“I have personally been impersonated by several fake Facebook accounts and as quickly as these are shut down, they pop up again,” she said.
The minister was speaking at the launch of the National Cyber Security awareness month 2018 and the launch of the National Cyber Security Awareness Programme at the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT in Accra Monday Morning.
The National Cyber Security Awareness programme is intended to raise awareness on cyber crimes and cyber security among children, the public, business and government.
Additionally, the programme is also meant to encourage reporting of cyber crimes and cyber security incidents to facilitate knowledge and information sharing among all stakeholders as well as to promote a culture of cybersecurity among the youth and the general public to encourage essential cyber hygiene practices.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said the criminal elements behind the cloned accounts used such accounts to defraud unsuspecting members of the public, explaining that, “there is ample reason for the persistent of these scams and is very simple… lack of awareness on cyber risks and trends by the majority of our citizens is the reason.”
According to her, about 70 percent of mobile money scams in the country could have been prevented if patrons of the services were aware of the risks associated with the operations of such services.
That, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said, the ministry has designed a programme to embark on a cybersecurity awareness campaign to educate Ghanaians on the threats on the internet and how to handle it.
She said government would continue to improve the country’s cybersecurity systems, adding that “government has the key responsibility to maintain the security of Ghana’s critical infrastructures, internet services and the entire digital ecosystem.”