The All Progressive Congress (APC) has warned Nigerians on the dangers of using Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access the internet, particularly Twitter which has been banned in the country.
Last weekend, the federal government barred the micro-blogging platform which erased the remark of President Muhammadu Buhari deemed genocidal.
On Saturday, the ban became effective as Nigerians could no longer access the giant social networking site using their Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards. They hastily resorted to use VPN and the recent threat of prosecution by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami, has not deterred them.
Mr Malami himself used the same VPN to deactivate his account on Twitter, the screenshot of the deactivation showed.
Warning Nigerians to desist from further use of the VPN, the ruling party which sided the federal government for banning Twitter said the unsecure connection could be used by criminals to steal their funds in the bank.
“The APC alerts Nigerians of the many risks involved in accessing contents, especially social media using the Virtual Private Network (VPN) which is vulnerable to the heinous activities of criminal hackers who can steal data and money in bank accounts,” John Akpanudoedehe, national secretary of the APC caretaker committee said on Tuesday in a statement.
“The APC warns legitimate private and public entities operating in the country to avoid the many dangers of exposing themselves to cybercrimes through the use of VPN which is not adequately secured.
“This advisory is necessary because despite the massive compliance by Nigerians to the federal government’s suspension of Twitter operations in the country, some individuals in the country have resorted to VPN to assess Twitter whose unwholesome activities were detrimental to peace and public order in the country.
“The APC emphasises that VPN users expose their devices to vulnerabilities, because the network allows third parties access to personal data and changes user location to another country which compromises data integrity.
“Your record can be traced to another country that is not yours, with all the risks that entails. Many individuals and organisations using VPN have lost their investments after compromising the security of their devices.
“The APC strongly advises that Nigerians should avoid installing or using VPN to access social networking sites in order to protect their privacy and security online.
“This is in our individual and collective interest,” the party added.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian government is rumored to have engaged the Chinese government for the latter to help the former bar the use of VPN in the country.