“Use strong passwords – a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, special symbols, such as punctuation marks – to deter hackers.”
Start with the basics: Two-factor authentication on all key accounts, mainly social media and crucial financial information. Use strong passwords – a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, special symbols, such as punctuation marks – to deter hackers. Never reuse passwords. Once one password gets compromised, the rest will follow.
For websites, add an SSL certification. Webpage developers or IT support teams can help with that. It would be best to encrypt all communications.
For secure messaging, try applications like Signal or Telegram. Code for Africa’s AfriLeaks is also a good platform when talking to whistleblowers. One more piece of advice: do not use public Wi-Fi. Always tether whenever possible because many people tend to get compromised by using public WiFi.
Odanga Madung is a data Journalist and researcher in Kenya. His interest is in speaking truth to power and highlighting the plight of communities, and he has written and contributed to investigations across different publications. He is the co-founder of Odipo Dev and is currently a fellow at the Mozilla Foundation.
“I get asked a lot about hacking. It usually boils down to who you think is after you and why. You need to constantly do a risk assessment that evaluates your exposure.”
Online security such as the security of your devices, like your laptop or mobile phone are important for several reasons. The first is that: you are carrying a lot of data about yourself and information about other people such as your sources. You probably have documents that you are working on. All these data need to be secure from people who want to hack your account. You also need to protect yourself by managing information about you that is available and accessible to anyone.
“Sometimes there is a need to have an extra level of protection by using a virtual private network (VPN)”
It is crucial to make sure that the information we share is safe and the information we consume is credible. So the first thing that one needs to do is to enable two-factor authentication.
Before one logs in to a service, one must put in a secondary code from a different place. It could be, for example, a text message or a link sent to an email address.
Any time one tries to log in; one has to put in this code. If the username and password are compromised, there is no need to worry about unauthorized access. An authenticator app that can be installed on smart devices generates specific codes for these specific platforms.
It is tough to remember all passwords, so there are services and apps like One Password and Last Pass, which lets one store passwords on them. The primary password is all one has to remember.
Make sure to use websites that have HTTPS in the address. The S means that this website is secure and that the information is encrypted. Sometimes there is a need to have an extra level of protection by using a virtual private network (VPN). The VPNs also encrypt and anonymize information before being shared or being sent to the intended target.
Eric Mugendi is the program manager for East Africa at Meedan, a software development startup that builds tools for journalists and civil society organizations. In this position, he works with organizations and individuals that hold governments to account and fight the spread of false information both online and offline. Eric has a background in environmental studies, and experience in journalism and fact-checking, having most recently been the managing editor of PesaCheck, East Africa’s first fact-checking initiative.
Podcasts are gradually gaining traction in the East African media landscape. But what does it take to produce a captivating podcast that will have listeners drooling over the next episode? Three female podcasters from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania reveal their secrets to EAST Site writer Peter Oduor.
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