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How Secure, Confidential and Reliable is the Nagarik App?

The government had made the Nagarik app public on Friday as a test so that all government services could be availed as much as possible. How secure and confidential is this app, which has attracted a significant number of users in a short period of time? The app development team of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has said that the app has been made safe and privacy friendly along with its usefulness and convenience.

 

To create an account in this app, you need a mobile number registered in your own name. This means that you or someone else using a SIM in someone else's name cannot use this app. Like apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, it also has two-factor authentication for security.

 

 This app can be opened only after entering the OTP code received in the accompanying mobile. This means that no one else can access the Citizen app even if they know your mobile number and PIN code. This means that it is not possible to login to this app without entering the OTP code in your number. As a result, others cannot open the Citizen app in your name.


The Citizen app makes sure you have a SIM card in your own name. For this, after the OTP verification, in order to access the services in the citizen app, one has to confirm oneself with documents like citizenship, voter identity card and passport.


 


All the digital details of the citizens with the government are kept in the data center of the National Information Technology Center inside Singha Durbar. Sunil Poudel, executive director of the center, says that layered security arrangements have been made. The security of the citizen app has been independently tested by three parties. According to the claim of the app development team, this is the government app that has undergone the most security testing in Nepal so far.

 

The app uses third party encryption technology for security. It is mentioned that biometric security system will be added to the national identity card after it is ready. The details of the citizens in the government body will not be in this app. It works in real time by linking these kinds of details of citizens in different government bodies.  

It immediately collects and confirms the details required to take any government service from the concerned body. 


The Ministry of Communications has warned you to keep your PIN code and personal information safe no matter how secure the app's system is. As in the real world, the virtual world has its own set of security risks. However, this app cannot be used using someone else's SIM card. However, the ministry has requested not to give personal details like SIM card, citizenship, passport, voter identity card in one's name to others as much as possible. 


Even if someone knows your username and password from the app, you can't log in to it without OTP. So you should not give the OTP code on your mobile to others. Telecom companies are now offering the facility to see the name of the SIM they are using.


Nowadays, you can also get information about which SIM cards have been issued in your name. If the SIM in your name is being used by someone else, you have the facility to change the name or turn it off.


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