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Africa needs better online security, experts say

Vince Matinde | July 24, 2015
Building trust online remains a big hurdle to fully taking advantage of the Internet in Africa, and at the Africa Domain Name System Forum meeting in Nairobi earlier this month, experts called for more rapid implementation of security mechanisms on the central elements of the Internet infrastructure and recommended the use of DNS security (DNSSEC) extensions to counter the issue.

Speakers at the meeting urged governments in Africa to take online security much more seriously, as increasing use of the Internet is a catalyst for economic activity.

Kenya is looking to implement various e-government initiatives that will include citizen participation. One of the state sites, eCitizen.go.ke, is getting a great deal of activity, with over 400,000 Kenyans applying for and renewing various official documents online. The government also plans to add the ability to make more than 100 kinds of payments online, so security is crucial.

The Kenyan government should focus on raising citizens' awareness about online risk, Oduor said. "The more enlightened the people are, the less they are likely to become victims of attacks such as phishing," he added.

 

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