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Cybercrime In Kenya: How To Protect Yourself Against Threats On The Internet

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African man using a laptop image from https://www.africarising.tv/downloads/african-stock-video-black-man-typing-laptop-computer-2/

In 2016, it was estimated that 26% of the Kenyan population were active internet users.  Kenya also has the fastest internet speeds in Africa and ranks highly worldwide. There’s an increase in the number of people using internet services in Kenya for commercial and personal purposes. The increase has led to the creation of more sophisticated applications that utilize the internet such as mobile banking.

However, this also means that cybercrime is on the increase. This year saw the signing of the Computer and Cybercrimes Act into law which would deal with some of the threats facing internet use including cyberbullying. The country’s economy also suffers greatly as a result of cybercrime. In 2017, Kenya lost approximately Sh21.2 billion to cybersecurity, second only to Nigeria which lost Sh65.5 billion.

 

African man using a laptop image from https://www.africarising.tv/downloads/african-stock-video-black-man-typing-laptop-computer-2/

Some of the biggest threats to cyber use include:

  1. Bots

Bots are one of the most common methods used to carry out cybercrime. Recently, social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter have conducted what people have termed as “the purge” to flash out suspected bot users. Bots pose risks and contribute to cybercrimes as many of them may be infected. Cybercriminals use these bots to carry out an array of attacks such as spamming and spreading malware. According to the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report, botnets continue to impact millions of computers globally, infecting them with old and new forms of malware.

The best soluting for users s installing antiviruses that detect and analyze unusual behaviour such as Windows Defender ATP. Windows Defender ATP uses the power of the cloud, machine learning and behaviour analytics to detect, protect and respond against botnets and other cyber threats.

  1. Easy Target

Hackers prey on the naivety of users to trick them into clicking on malicious links. The cloud has also been marked as one of the most insecure storage apps. Recent Microsoft research suggests that 79% of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) storage apps and 86% of collaboration apps do not encrypt data both at rest and in transit.

Since it’s becoming more expensive for hackers to penetrate software, it’s easier and less costly to trick a user into clicking a malicious link or opening a phishing email. Many internet users fall victim to extortion when their personal data land in the wrong hands.

Additionally, cybercriminals use legitimate software to remain undetected. In 2017, the Windows Defender Security Intelligence team detected incidents where hackers used legitimate business software to stay under the radar. Therefore, the best solution is to exercise more caution while using the internet.

  1. Ransomware

Last year, many organizations around the world fell victim to the infamous WannaCrypt ransomware which crippled numerous services. The whole world witnessed the extent of such a cyber attack. Microsoft’s latest Security Intelligence Report, states that ransomware is a popular method used to carry out cybercrimes due to their severity.

You can protect yourself from such attacks by creating destruction-resistant backups. You can also apply multi-layer security defences to secure your emails. Most importantly, keep all software up to date to prevent entry points to cybercriminals.

Summary About Cyber Use In Kenya

Access to the internet –                            31 million people

Internet speed (2017) –                            13.7 megabits per second

Amount lost to cybersecurity (2017) –     Ksh 21.1 Billion

Microsoft Cyber Security infographic image courtesy of Microsoft

As earlier mentioned, the best defence against cybercrime is to be more knowledgeable. Internet use is still a new concept to the majority of the population thus posing a bigger risk of falling prey to attacks. It’s important that organizations enlighten its employees on the latest threats and how to defend themselves against such cybercrimes.

Take a look at Cybersecurity Trends 2018: A Look Into Ransomware

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