Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has cited a sharp increase in the number of cyber-threats and incidents in the country, rising from 11.3 million to 26.6 million.
Speaking during a consumer outreach event dubbed Kikao Kikuu at Embu County, the Authority Board Chair, Ngene Gituku said CA’s national cyber-security centre had observed this trend within one quarter between April 1 to June 30 this year.
Gituku also urged parents and other guardians to be on the lookout on what their children consume on the online platforms, especially during the ongoing long holidays as they are also a target of cyber criminals.
“It is not enough to purchase smartphones and other devices and leave children on their own without providing the required guidance and controls,” he noted.
Gituku noted that CA has materials on Children Online Protection which can assist parents and guardians on the safety of their children online, and urged Embu residents to take advantage of the education resources.
Speaking at the same event, organized jointly by CA and the County Government of Embu, CA Acting Director General Mercy Wanjau said the region has good mobile connectivity of 2Gand 3 G which translate to coverage of 99.8% and 88.2% respectively.
Wanjau said information communication technologies if well harnessed could contribute to increased food productivity, thus contribute to the government’s Big 4 Agenda on food security.
“Cooperatives and indeed individual farmers can use Information and Communications Technologies to receive useful information including weather patterns, pest control, farming techniques and regular market access information for their produce. ICTs can also help farmers keep simple records like the type of soil in their farms, litres of milk sold, crop or animal diseases and quantity of produce harvested, among others,” added Wanjau.
She further revealed that so far the CA has connected 14 public secondary schools in Embu with high-speed Internet through the Universal Service Fund.
“Just a week ago, we launched the voice infrastructure project, through which we have connected 68 sub-locations to mobile communications services across the country. This initiative has seen about 290,000 people who until recently only dreamt of making a call through the mobile phone, enjoy basic voice and data services,” she observed.
Wanjau said the Authority is targeting 10 more sub-locations to be connected with mobile voice services under the same project that will ensure all areas that still experience challenges of connectivity are adequately covered.
Kikao Kikuu forum provides a platform for interaction between communication service providers, consumers and the Authority and seeks to create greater awareness of the Authority’s role as the regulator for the ICT sector and further engage consumers on various issues of interest.
Embu County is the 18th county to be visited by CA with the Kikao Kikuu forum within a period of five years.
By Kimani Tirus