Launch of Myanmar Cyber Security Awareness Campaign

Launch of Myanmar Cyber Security Awareness Campaign

Monash Criminology lecturer Dr Lennon Chang and cyber security expert Mr Ye Thura Thet (Kernellix Co., Ltd., Myanmar) recently launched their campaign to raise awareness of cyber safety in Myanmar.

Launched by Ambassador Mr Nicholas Coppel, the campaign involves six culturally relevant animated characters to be used in a series of videos and comics addressing different cyber security ideas for the general public on cyber safety topics including phishing, hacking, changing passwords, personal information protection, cyber bullying, hate speech and cyber stalking.

Cyber security awareness will be promoted in collaboration with government agencies, schools, local shops and theatres and regular updates of cyber security trends and news and cyber security events will be shared on the campaign platforms. Topics will include phishing, hacking, changing passwords, personal information protection, cyber bullying, hate speech and cyber stalking. 

Mr Thet, founder and managing director of Kernellix Co. Ltd, said using local and culturally relevant characters would be “more effective” to engage the Myanmar audience.

Speaking at the launch, Ambassador Coppel said cyber security was a growing problem around the world.

Australia is concerned at the spread of cybercrime and is helping countries in the region, including Myanmar, to strengthen their capacity to tackle this new problem. By working with local counterparts, Dr Chang’s innovative project is engaging Myanmar’s young and old to make them more aware of the importance of cyber security.

The Myanmar Cyber Security Campaign is a collaboration between Monash University, Kernellix and the Myanmar Ministry of Transportation and Communication National Cyber Security Centre. It is supported and funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade under the International Cyber Engagement Strategy and the School of Social Sciences at Monash University.

Dr Chang said with changes in Myanmar’s government – which saw the price of ordinary technology items like SIM cards drop dramatically in price – the use of technology has become more widespread, but people lack safe online practices in general.

“The low level of cyber security awareness among its many internet users makes cybercrime, cyberbullying and the online spread of hate speech serious risks for which Myanmar is ill-prepared. As a developing country a lot of infrastructure is still not ready in rural areas and technology provides them with a very good tool to advance their situation, for example rather than building banks they can use online payments,” he said.

“A lot of people are doing that now in the rural areas but they don’t have any cyber security awareness. At the end of the day if we don’t really advance the human part, it’s difficult for [technological] advancement to be successful.”

Mr Chang said although the the six Myanmar comic characters address “very basic things” he believes it is what is needed in the country to address cyber safety issues.

The team will run a conference later this year for government officials and provide them with information on current development on cyber security strategies and laws in other countries to give them some ideas and help them to promote to modify their laws.

The Myanmar Cyber Security Campaign is a collaboration between Monash University, Kernellix and the Myanmar Ministry of Transportation and Communication National Cyber Security Centre. It is supported and funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade under the International Cyber Engagement Strategy and the School of Social Sciences at Monash University.

The year-long campaign will see fortnightly cyber security awareness comic illustrations appear on the campaign platforms on Facebook and online.

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