Why Parents need to defend their homes against the deep waters of the Internet 0 1071

  • According to a survey published by Youth Dynamix, a specialist Youth and Family Research Agency, over 18% of Kenyan Youth own a smartphone.
  • 79% of the Youth Wallet Share is specially allocated to airtime. Essentially, what this statistic points out is that if a parent gives their children a sum of KES 4,000 each month then KES 3,160 could go exclusively to internet usage and voice calls.
  • A staggering 35% of all Internet downloads are related to pornography.

Floaters

Nearly every parent in Kenya remembers the first time they took any of their children out for swimming. No one has done any particular research on this subject matter but any attentive person will soon realize that it is a cold, hard fact.

I embarked to ask parents why this memory was so vivid and their response was equally as fascinating. Majority of the parents to whom I posed this question to uniformly attribute the clarity of those beautiful first strokes of their children to the immense risk that swimming posed on their little ones and what their eventual success meant for their future.

“When I put the floaters on him and placed him in the water, I thought that he may sink but he got in and just started kicking away! I knew he would be a great swimmer! I’ve never been prouder!”

Most parents were not so lucky, their children required constant practice and training in order to successfully land those first strokes. Crucially and, most notably, during that first swim, over 97% of these parents all had their children wear floaters.

Proper use of the Internet could create innovative, socially adept leaders out of children. However, there exist numerous risks with the use of the Internet among the youth.

Much like teaching your child swimming, each parent must understand that there is a duty of care which they have to adhere to once they purchase any internet-enabled device, such as a mobile phone and tablet and allow their children to use it.

The Youth Spend on Internet Usage

The cybersecurity community finds internet use among children and the youth most interesting.

After delving into statistics about youth and their internet use, we found some pretty insightful things about how the youth access and interact with digital technology in Kenya.

According to a survey published by Youth Dynamix, a specialist Youth and Family Research Agency, over 18% of Kenyan Youth own a smartphone.

Further, the primary function of a smartphone has diversified wildly. Not only is a smartphone utilized for voice calls and internet access but also for their day to day financial transactions.

The Youth’s reliance on digital technology does not stop there. Findings from the research firm, Youth Dynamix pointed out that about 79% of the Youth Wallet Share is specially allocated to airtime.

Essentially, what this statistic points out is that if a parent gives their children a sum of KES 4,000 each month then KES 3,160 could go exclusively to internet usage and voice calls.

It is of note that data usage is much more prevalent than voice calls among the youth demographic.

Internet use is a social norm

I do not intend to load this article with complex statistic-based data, however, the more one looks at the numbers, the more apparent the reality of constant internet use among the Youth in our country becomes.

Constant use may ultimately mean constant exposure to the vices and obscenities of an open and unchecked information pool where pornography and other forms of putrid content fester.

A statistic that should raise Kenyan parents’ eyebrows is based on a recent survey which pointed out that a staggering 35% of all Internet downloads are related to pornography.

A staggering 35% of all Internet downloads are related to pornography. Click to Tweet

Moreover, cyberterrorism has led to the growth and development of radicalization among impressionable children.

Modern recruitment campaigns from terrorist organizations often necessitate the protection and monitoring of children’s cyberactivity, otherwise the virtues and positive social cues which parents take years to teach their children is often replaced by dark, nihilistic ideas which could lead to dire consequences not just within the home, but for the State as well.

What is it that you have done to safeguard your child from the dangers of the Internet?

A valid counter argument will always be that the Internet is a treasure trove of knowledge and innovation, that the network effects present within the Web can bring out the best out of our young population; that constantly being on the Internet is not always a bad thing.

The latter may be true, but perhaps it is time for parents and guardians to ask themselves what exactly they have done to validate these fruitful notions.

What roles do parents play in ensuring the safe and righteous use of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops after their purchase? Why aren’t parents more involved in the manner which their children use the Internet? How can parents ensure that the Internet is used to add value to the education of their children?

In conclusion

In conclusion, Millennials (the youth born between 1980-1995) and Generation Z (the youth born between 1996-2010) rarely (if ever) forget their first mobile phone, first tablet or first laptop.

Don’t take my word for it?

We recommend that you ask them, and while you are at it discuss how parental control and guidance over internet use can mutually benefit the home and the family.

Refuse to let your children drown in the vast pool of information that is the Internet, it is time to gently put the floaters on, mums and dads. It is time to put the floaters on.

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Flaws in email encryption revealed 0 781

email encryption

A team of 8 academics have discovered weaknesses in OpenPGP and S/MIME encryption protocols which could lead to the plain text of encrypted emails being exposed to attackers. The academics have named these flaws “EFAIL”.

Insights from cryptography expert Bruce Schneier explained that “[t]he vulnerability isn’t with PGP or S/MIME itself, but in the way they interact with modern e-mail programs.”

To be able exploit the weaknesses, you would first need to access the end-to-end-encrypted email message. This could be by way of stealing it from a compromised account or by intercepting its path. Following this, the attacker would need to alter the email, adding a custom HTML code and then sending this new version onto the victim. The victim’s email client decrypts the email and is tricked by the malicious code into sending the full plaintext of the emails to the attackers. Even messages sent years ago are vulnerable.

The team said that their proof-of-concept exploit has been shown to be successful against 25 out of 35 tested S/MIME email clients and 10 out of 28 OpenPGP clients. The flaws affect email applications such as Apple Mail with the GPGTools encryption plug-in, Mozilla Thunderbird with the Enigmail plug-in, and Outlook with the Gpg4win encryption package. The academics said that, in keeping with the principles of responsible disclosure, they have reported their findings to all email providers concerned.

Time to change your Twitter password 0 925

Twitter Password

An internal bug exposed the passwords of an undisclosed number of the more than 330 million Twitter users.

Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal announced that it was a “bug that stored passwords unmasked in an internal log”. He went on to state “we have fixed the bug and our investigation shows no indication of breach or misuse”.

The Social Media platform are insisting that there is no sign of danger and that there is no reason to believe that the passwords were exposed outside of the organisation. However, they are still advising users to change their Twitter passwords and those of any other online service using the same password.

Some additional password tips from Twitter include enabling two-factor authentication and also using a password manager to create a strong and unique password for every individual online service.