Kenyan Cyber-Security: Suffering from Neo-Luddism and Ignorance

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“Technology will evolve forward, with or without our help… All we can do is get out of the way, or — at best — enjoy the ride.” Douglas Rushkoff

There has been a recent spate of Kenyan websites being hacked, a case in point the Kenya police website which was tampered with in honor of Mark Zuckerberg. This has had many debating on the effectiveness of the cyber-security policies in place for these sites/organizations.

What has me puzzled though, is the factors/dynamics behind the seeming lax nature that most Kenyans approach their cyber-security and that of the firms in which they work or own. This week alone I went through my friends Facebook profiles and I found that an overwhelming majority had their email addresses open to public view. In another friend’s post some people posted their emails in response, in order to receive some news they wanted in their inbox. This despite the dangers that making your email public poses.

The problems in a society begin from an individual level, that’s what I believe. In discussions with most people, I usually find that opinion towards internet and computer technology usually leans towards either a neo-luddite view or an ignorant one. Digital natives/digital immigrants and those who embrace computer technology and its capabilities are usually on the fringes of Kenyan society (this is purely my experience).

It’s my view that the issue stems from an individual level, the realization that the embrace of technology is tantamount to near future survival and well-being has not really registered for most. Thereby resulting in an environment in which our institutions and our own cyber-security is threatened. Get more cyber-smart today, please, you have to.

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Muthoni Maingi
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Muthoni is a Brand Strategist and Director at Deviate, a company that works with over 15 of the region's most forward thinking brands. She is passionate about growing SME's, Internet Technology and mentoring young women. She also owns and writes for Tamu Tamu and Bridal Kenya and is an active blogger on a wide range of topics such as business, food and technology and has written for CIO Kenya, Yummy News, Affrinovator and Kachwanya. Before starting her own company she was a Production Coordinator and TV Host for the NTV show Urban Hype, an Account Executive at Habari, and a Brand Strategist at Creative Edge.
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