Kenyans Warned Over Using Public WiFi for E-banking

File image of Kenyans using smartphones
File image of Kenyans using smartphones

Kenyans have been warned about using public WiFi to access e-banking and mobile banking services.

Through a notice, one of Kenya’s popular banks warned Kenyans that the WiFi was exposing them to risk.

According to the bank, public WiFi offers hackers the most common loophole for executing cyber-attacks.

Owalo Free WiFi
Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo during the launch of the free WiFi service at the city market, Nairobi county on November 9, 2022.
Twitter/ICT Authority

Mobile banking in Kenya has grown in popularity with many Kenyans preferring the service as their main mode of bank transactions.

According to a customer satisfaction survey done by Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) in 2022, it was revealed that 6 in 10 bank customers prefer mobile banking compared to other forms of accessing bank services. 

With the rising popularity of mobile banking, banks in Kenya have invested in top security in their mobile banking apps to protect clients’ accounts and other personal information.

Despite all the efforts made by banks to provide data security, a bank account can be compromised if a client is negligent and uses a shared internet network.

Cybercriminals in Kenya use a combination of technical skills and free tools to sneak into public WiFi to steal sensitive information.

When hackers get control of your account, they steal your banking information as well as personal data.

The stolen data is then used to make unauthorized transactions from the targeted bank account.

In the recent past, cases of Kenyans losing millions in the hands of such hackers have been on the rise. 

On January 6, a Kenyan national was charged with hacking a bank account and stealing Ksh2.4 billion from a government agency in Zimbabwe.

Additionally, on January 21, another Kenyan was arrested for hacking into a Mombasa-based bank and stealing Ksh900,000.

In May 2018 the Kenyan government signed the Computer and Cyber Crime Act into law to counter rising cyber threats.

According to the Act, hacking can attract a jail sentence of up to 20 years or a fine not exceeding Ksh10 million or both.

A sillhoute of a hacker using a computer.jpg
A silhouette of a hacker using a computer on March 13, 2018.
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