by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH Africans must be careful of their posts on social media, lest they find themselves behind bars this festive season.
This warning by a technology executive comes after several elements of the new Cybercrimes Act came into effect, six months after President Cyril Ramaphosa first signed the bill into law.
The legislation is hailed as a new weapon in the fight against cybercriminals.
“Whether it’s a post on your Facebook profile or a Telegram message, it’s up to you to make sure that what you’re sharing is appropriate and does not hurt anyone,” said Matthew Campbell, Head of SME and Fibre to the home at SEACOM.
He warned, “If you’re convicted of malicious communications related crimes, you can face fines or prison sentences of up to three years.”
Notably, the act came into effect just before experts identified social media as having played a role in the civil unrest South Africa experienced in July 2021.
More than 300 people died during the violence following the jailing of former president, Jacob Zuma.
According to the 2021 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report, 477 million people globally have been the victim of a cybercrime in their lifetime.
More than 328,5 million cases occurred in the 12 months prior to May 2021 alone.
South Africa has the third highest number of cybercrime victims worldwide.
It is estimated that it costs the economy R2,2 billion (US$136,9 million) a year.
– CAJ News