There were 5.4 million cyber-attacks recorded last year in Kenya. That is more than double the number recorded in 2013.
Most of the attacks involved financial crimes or targeted information infrastructure like computer systems. The targets were Kenyan government agencies, other groups and private citizens.
Many computer users wonder what they should be doing to guard against possible online attacks.
Felix Ngugi is a 22-year-old information technology student. He is taking a two-year-long class. The course helps students learn how to secure information stored on computers. It tells them about computer hacking and tests their anti-hacking proficiency.
Students pay $10 a year for the costs of software programs and use of computer servers. Felix Ngugi says $10 is a small price for the knowledge and experience offered by the course.
"Why we are learning this is to be able to secure the people who are innocently being attacked by people who know computers and to protect their data and information from getting out to the open."
Kenya is listed as one of the countries most likely to face cyber-threats. Kenya's Ministry of Information and Communication says that, in 2013, the country had 31-million users of mobile devices. It adds that 13 million others used the Internet.
Cyber-crime is estimated to cost the world economy more than $500 billion a year.
The African Union is taking steps to fight cyber-crime. Its members created the AU Convention on Cyber Security and Data Protection. Yet the agreement has yet to be approved by a single country.
Fred Wahome is an expert on information technology.
“One of the challenges that came up is that the member states were not consulted on these issues, so you’ll find countries like Kenya, the human rights organizations and some of the universities, they opposed that convention based on those facts that they could actually hamper the issues of human rights.”
I’m Jonathan Evans.
Lenny Ruvaga reported this story from Washington. Jonathan Evans adapted it for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
Words in this Story
fraud – n. the crime of using dishonest methods to take something valuable from another person
hack – v. to secretly get access to the files on a computer or network in order to get information, cause damage, etc.
proficiency – n. a high degree of skill for something; expertise.