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Safaricom, Communications Authority Take Lead On Offering Safer Internet Access

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There have been increased cyber-threats recorded in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has created a new frontier for cybercriminals. In light of this discovery, Safaricom and the Communication’s Authority of Kenya (CA) are working together to offer safer Internet Access.

Cybersecurity in Kenya

The CA notes that there are 56 million different cybersecurity attacks and counting in the country. Majority of the threats are:

  • Malware attacks at 46 million.
  • Web application attacks at 7.8 million.
  • 2.2 million Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) threats.

To curb this, the CA and Safaricom today launched this interactive portal to increase safer internet activities.

Interactive Portal for Safer Internet Environment Launch

The CA has, in partnership with local telecommunications service providers, launched an interactive portal aimed at creating a safer internet environment for children.

Speaking at the event, the ICT Cabinet Secretary, Joe Mucheru, noted that the abuse and exploitation of children is unacceptable.

He adds that in the Internet world, we need further protections to shield children from predators. This also includes those who may contact them through deceptive enticements in online forums. The micro-site will provide online safety tips for both children and guardians.

HOW THE PUBLIC WILL USE THE SOFTWARE

By using this platform, the public can report any cases of online child abuse. These reports will be directly channelled to CA for necessary action.

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In addition to that, the public can also access information about other organizations that offer support for children. Such as:

  • Childline Kenya.
  • Kenya Association of Professional Counsellors.
  • The Cradle and the Children’s Department.

“It has a gaming component that enables both the young and the young at heart to measure their levels of awareness. Such as cyberbullying, identity theft and online sexual harassment,” said Mercy Wanjau, Ag. Director-General of the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).

SAFARICOM’S TAKE

We spoke to Mr Stephen Chege, Safaricom’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer and this is what he had to say on the matter.

Why does child online protection matter to Safaricom?

Safer Internet
Safaricom believes that responsible business is good business. By creating safer spaces online, we are working to ensure all customers continue to enjoy good dividends both now and in the future. We commit to ensuring that the internet space remains safe for generations to come.

What’s your perspective on child online safety in Kenya?
It is encouraging to see the number of partners and initiates that are currently in place to create safer spaces online. However, more needs to be done.

We need policies and collaborations with government, private sector and non-profits to create the structures that will encourage more online child safety features to be put in place.

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As the leading telco in Kenya, what are you doing to help children access safe websites?

We have embedded a Child Rights Policy into our business to ensure that we protect the rights of children in everything we do. Moreover, we have partnered with the Internet Watch Foundation to filter unsavoury content that involves children.

We also recently launched Securenet, which allows our Fibre customers to filter out unsafe content and manage their time online. Today, we’ve launched an interactive portal that allows us to share online safety information with internet users.

How long has Safaricom done this?
Safaricom has worked with partners to identify tools to enhance safety online since we started offering internet services.

In terms of sustainable business practice, where does this put Safaricom?
We believe that putting in place measures to protect children aligns with the SDG’s that enable us to build a network fit for the future.

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