The All Progressives Congress (APC) has warned Nigerians against the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) to access social media.
Many Nigerians turned to VPN to access Twitter, a microblogging platform, after the federal government suspended its operations in the country last week.
The government suspended Twitter after it took down a tweet of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement on Tuesday, John Akpanudoedehe, national secretary of the APC caretaker committee, said hackers could steal data and money from bank accounts through the use of VPN.
“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,” Akpanudoedehe said.
“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 secretary also urged Nigerians to desist from the use of VPN.
“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,” he said.
“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.”