Kenya is one of the countries in the world where citizens express themselves freely on the internet without fear of being intimidated. But with the freedom of the internet (protected by the Constitution of Kenya through the freedom of expression), comes with it the dangers of going overboard that only being self-conscious and responsible saves the day.
As the country goes through an election period, the urge to want to send messages and amplify political content online is higher than ever before. But in so doing, many people have ended up putting themselves and their loved ones in danger by exposing too much than what is needed to strangers.
Here is how to protect yourself online during this political period:
- Protect your passwords. The password to your social media tools is like a door. If you make your door weak or leave it open, people will access your house and make out with valuable items. Your passwords need to be stronger, at least 8 characters (that includes letters, numbers, and special characters), unique, and only known by you.
- Do not share more than what is needed. Nobody is your friend on the internet. Everyone you see on the internet is wearing a mask and their true self is not even near the keyboard. Do not share with strangers more than what is needed. Stop sharing your contacts, location, and your activities.
- Do not spread hate. During this period, political temperatures are often high. Do not be tempted to be the one fueling hate among Kenyans that might lead to violence.
- Not every app is meant for your phone. Some apps will track and share your data, exposing you and whoever you communicate with. Avoid spy apps by all means and stick to genuine apps that can be downloaded from verifiable stores like Google Play Store.
- Turn off your location. There is this notion that Google is one of the safest platforms in the world, but this does not mean that you become careless and “tease” online snoopers to find you. Only turn on your Google location when it is very necessary.
The Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) has been calling on Kenyans to be vigilant with their social media tools during this election period.
The CA, responsible for seamless communication, and a major stakeholder in the transmission of the election results, has put the necessary infrastructures in place and is working collaboratively with other stakeholders to ensure that the transmission is seamless and that no Kenyan will be anxious due to delays.