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Authority marks safer Internet day with live TV discussion

Posted on: 5th February 2019

CA Director General Mr. Francis Wangusi (second left) during a live TV discussion on safety on the Internet.With him on the panel are Dr. Bright Maduwor from Internet Solutions (IS) Kenya (left), Mr. Sam Gituku of Citizen TV (moderator), Ms. Caroline Nalianya from Plan International Kenya (second right) and Mr. Fidelis Muia from Kenya Bankers Association  (right).

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) today marked this year’s Safer Internet Day (SID) by organizing a live TV discussion at the CA Centre.

The SID is an annual global event commemorated to create awareness and inspire a global conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively.

The debate on Citizen TV brought together CA Director General Mr. Francis Wangusi Dr. Bright Maduwor from Internet Solutions (IS) Kenya, Mr. Fidelis Muia from Kenya Bankers Association  (KBA) and l Ms. Caroline Nalianya from Plan International Kenya.

The panel discussed several issues, including safety of children online, safety of personal information and financial safety.

According to Mr.Wangusi, the Authority has put in place a number of initiatives to promote safe us of the Internet and specifically targeting children.

‘‘One of these is the Child online Protection (COP) campaign that was rolled out in 2015 highlighting the role that parents, guardians and teachers need to play to protect children in cyberspace and at the same time provides avenues of redress should one encounter cybercrime,’’ said Mr.Wangusi.

A 2017 report by the Authority shows that most of the risks that children are exposed to include: exposure to adult content, sexting, online grooming, cyber bullying, cat fishing & exposure to violent videos, among others.

Dr. Maduwor said technology now provides numerous tools that can be used to manage the kind content children access on the Internet, but called for increased vigilance by parents and other minders of children what activities they do in the cyber space.

‘‘We need to ensure that we are proactive to ensure we can detect if our children are accessing harmful content online,’’ noted Dr.Maduwor.

Similar sentiments echoed by Mr.Muia who further urged parents to put limits on access time for children on the Internet.

‘‘Ensure the child knows the limits of what they can access online. There are tools available for parents to use to guide their children well,’’ said Mr.Muia.

A study by the International telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2016 on children’s understandings of cyber bullying showed that the majority is able to distinguish cyber bullying from joking or teasing online. They generally recognize that cyber bullying is systematic behavior that has a public dimension and is designed to harm.

However, the Internet remains and immense resource, which if properly harnessed can contribute to greater public good including for children. It is this positive aspect that should be properly exploited, according to Ms.Nalianya.

And even though the financial sector has greatly leveraged on technology, new challenges abound which require a new thinking in strategy. The financial sector through KBA, continually explores mechanisms to secure their systems against cyber fraud.

‘‘Using technology we have been able to bring services closer to the people but the threats have also come closer. We now have a cyber security team that monitors cyber fraud,’’ said Mr.Muia.

Mr.Wangusi said the greatest weakness in cyber security efforts is the people who use the various technological resources and this can only be remedied through enhanced awareness. The Authority has therefore embarked on a number of initiatives to build the capacity of various stakeholders in the ICT industry.

The Authority in partnership with ITU has been carrying our a programme to build the capacity of the judicial and law enforcement sectors to equip them with skills to better adjudicate ICT related cases

Additionally, the CA and ITU are collaborating in the development of a national framework on Child Online Protection.

The Government through the Authority also established the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Centre (National KE-CIRT/CC), which is responsible for the national coordination of cyber security as well as Kenya’s national point of contact on cyber security matters.

The National KE-CIRT/CC operates on a 24/7 basis detects, prevents and responds to various cyber threats targeted at the country, and coordinates response to cyber security matters at the national level in collaboration with relevant actors locally and internationally.

Besides the TV discussion, the Authority also participated in other similar events to mark the day at Safaricom Centre, Ngunyumu Primary School in Nairobi, the Kenya Scouts Association, Makini School and on Elimu TV

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