As of September 2019, there were 52 million internet
subscriptions in Kenya. Out of the total data subscriptions, 99.3% were mobile
<p><b>Also called two-step verification is a security feature that asks you to verify your identity using at least two different forms of authentication. </b></p><p><b>This can be something you are, something you have, or something that only you know.</b></p>
A report by the National Kenya Computer Incident Response
Team Coordination Centre revealed that 25.2 million cyber threats were detected
in the period between July to September 2019. So how does one ensure their
Clear your cache, cookies and browsing history.
The browsing history is basically saved copies of all the web
pages you visit.
When you browse, your browsing history is stored in a local
folder in your computer called a browser cache. Browser caches make it easier
for you to view web pages because it is faster to retrieve data from a device's
local storage rather than over the internet.
Have you tried signing in to a website, and the browser asks
you to save your password? Well, when you click the save option, the browser
cookies store this information. That means you don't have to repeat the whole
process, thereby making your browsing experience faster.
So why is it essential to clear your cache, cookies, and browsing history? It makes it harder for hackers to access vital information. "If I maliciously access your computer, all this information will be readily available to me," says James King' ara, an IT expert. "So, the security of your accounts will always be threatened as long as they are held in your browser."
Get a virtual private network (VPN)
Most people are excited about free Wi-Fi. Shopping malls,
hospitals, bus stations, and urban eateries are some of the places one can
enjoy browsing for free on an open network. Always be cautious of such networks
as they can be hunting grounds for hackers.
However, when you need to use a public internet connection, a
virtual private network will give you anonymity. A VPN allows you to create a
secure connection to another network on the internet and hides your internet
protocol (IP) address and location.
The VPN also ensures that your online interactions (browsing
history) are virtually untraceable and protects your devices from potential
cybercriminals who might be on the same public network as you.
Use two-factor authentication (2FA)
Also called two-step verification is a security feature that
asks you to verify your identity using at least two different forms of
authentication. This can be something you are, something you have, or something
that only you know.
As opposed to single-factor authentication (SFA), in which the user provides only one factor --
typically, a password or passcode, in 2FA, an additional layer of security is
added to the authentication process.
This means that even if someone knows your password, it will
be impossible for them to access your account until they pass through the
second authentication check.
Two-step authentication methods include the use of an additional email to verify an attempted login, sending login codes to a mobile number, or a set of questions that only the user could potentially know the answers.
Beware of click baits and phishing sites
According to Wikipedia, a clickbait is a form of
advertisement that uses a hyperlink intending to attract attention and entice
users to follow that link. Click baits are usually sensationalized, deceptive,
A phishing site is a website that masquerades as a legitimate
website. Once an unsuspecting internet user enters a phishing site, it obtains
(phishes) sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card
Phishing sites are identity thieves, and they are commonly found
in emails. Sometimes it may not be easy to distinguish between a phishing site
and an authentic one, but James King' ara gives a few tips.
"The first thing you look at is the URL (address of the
webpage)," he says. "The sites may have similar content, but the URLs
will be different." For example, if the real site's web address is
example.com, a phishing site maybe exampel.com. Most phishing sites misspell
the legitimate website's address.
Most trusted websites' URL starts with "https://..."
but phishing sites begin with "http://..." The first one is
secure; the second one is not. Notice the difference: https://example.com (s
stands for secure) and http://exampel.com
If you receive an email requiring you to log in, take note of
the address sending the email and verify its legitimacy. Also, be cautious of
websites that have pop-up windows asking for your login information.
Use passcodes even when they are optional
This especially applies to smartphone users. Usually, most
smartphones offer four-digit pins or unlock patterns as default security
measures. Some advanced devices also have biometric authentication
While some people would prefer to unlock patterns or pin
numbers, security analysts advise that passcodes are more efficient as they are
"harder to break." Johnson Samande, a System Administrator at
Standard Group PLC, says that it is easier to guess four-digit pins than
passcodes, which are generally longer.
Furthermore, you can still use passcodes to authenticate
biometric methods like Touch ID.
Use unique passwords for every login
Do you have a common password (s) for all your accounts?
Well, you might have to consider changing that. This is because hackers usually
steal information by trying different combinations of usernames and
Having one password for all your online accounts means that
if a hacker knows the password to one account, they are highly likely to access
all your accounts. It is, therefore, safer to have unique passwords for all
your online accounts.
Additional tip: Change your passwords
regularly (at least once every month) and always remember to log out of your
accounts, especially when you visit a cyber café.