Get Safe Online Campaign; an addition to raise awareness on the importance of online safety in Rwanda

As part of the UK Commonwealth Cybersecurity programme, Get Safe Online has been commissioned by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to implement tailored communications programmes to raise awareness on the importance of online safety in Commonwealth countries, of which Rwanda is a member. Rwanda joined the Commonwealth in November 2009, becoming its 54th member. The Get Safe Online Campaign is to start on 20th July, 2020.

This Campaign in Rwanda comes at the heels of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and lockdown, where people globally are relying on online technology more than ever. In implementing the Campaign in Rwanda, Get Safe Online will work with the Ministry of ICT and Innovation and the Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA). According to the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of ICT and Innovation; Mr. Yves Iradukunda, “the Get Safe Online Campaign is a welcome addition to ongoing efforts to promote online safety in Rwanda. Given the government’s continued efforts of smart governance and services digitization, cybersecurity awareness is important for both public servants and the private sector.”

Peter Davies, the Global Ambassador of Get Safe Online states that, “the aim of the Campaign is to raise awareness of risks and safety measures which will protect people from online security risks. These risks include phishing scams, identity theft, ransomware, malware, viruses and other online threats. The services are fully funded and don’t require any resources from those who use it. Working together with our local partners in Rwanda, we look forward to building awareness on the importance of online safety in an ever-changing digital world.”

The Get Safe Online Campaign in Rwanda aims to raise awareness on the importance of staying safe online, and will comprise collectively of:

1. A locally presented, freely accessible website (www.getsafeonline.org.rw) in both English and Kinyarwanda with comprehensive information on online safety and cybersecurity. A Kinyarwanda version of the Get Safe Online Rwanda website will be available by the beginning of September.

2. Locally driven awareness and promotional campaigns, highlighting the most prevalent and highest cyber risks.

3. Capacity building to ensure continued advocacy for online safety, through an advocacy scheme enabling local people to deliver workshops within their organisations and communities, under the training, mentoring, guidance of Get Safe Online experts and local partners.

According to Innocent Bagamba Muhizi, CEO of RISA, “as we continue to conduct our businesses online, we are susceptible to cybersecurity breaches partly due to lack of awareness. The aim of this Campaign as we collaborate with our partners Get Safe Online and the Ministry of ICT and Innovation, is to build increased awareness of all Rwandan citizens and residents about cybersecurity issues. By the end of the Campaign, we hope that every citizen will have a good understanding of how to avoid being a victim of these breaches. Specific efforts will be put into ensuring the safety of our children as they continue to study and learn online.”

Get Safe Online is a non-profit organization based in the UK, which has been providing free, accessible, high-quality public education and awareness services about online risks since 2005. Get Safe Online works alongside Her Majesty’s Government, law enforcement agencies, regulators and private sector organizations in the technology, communications, retail and finance sector.

The organization has established an excellent and trusted reputation among the cyber security community and the public. More recently, supported by the UK Commonwealth Cybersecurity Programme, Get Safe Online has been providing the same high-quality services in the 12 Caribbean countries that are part of the Commonwealth of Nations.

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