Nairobi News


Experts have their say on Nairobi’s free Wi-Fi

By Winnie Onyando November 16th, 2022 2 min read

Experts have shared their views on the government’s planned roll out 25,000 hotspots in the country, following the launch of free hotspots in Nairobi last week.

Fredrick Wahome, who is the CEO Secunets Technologies Ltd and also the Vice Chair Kenya Cyber Security & Forensics Association (KCSFA), said the government needs to come up with a strategy that will help deal with cybersecurity issues which he said might arise due to the free hotspots.

Mr Wahome also noted that most Kenyans are not aware of the dangers using public Wi-Fi might pose to their devices and their businesses.

Also read: How to protect your smartphone while using free WiFi in Nairobi

“Just like a coin with two sides, a free hotspot can bring both negative and positive impact in the lives of the people. For all the benefits, there are also dangers for the users,” said Mr Wahome.

On the other hand, he said the use of servers such as Proxy (a server application that acts as an intermediary between a client requesting a resource and the server providing that resource) and Virtual Private Network (VPN) – a private network across a public network that enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network may arise especially among the youths who are interested in watching pornographic materials.

“Some youths are very skilled. They will use Proxy to watch pornographic materials. This will in turn lead to a sharp rise in promiscuity in our country,” he sad.

Also read: Dear Nairobians, here are the dangers of using free public WiFi

The expert also said the government should come up with a long term plan that will sustain the project saying that the same project was launched in Nakuru and Nyandarua but failed.

“Beginning something is just one process. Sustaining it is another work. People need to know whether the government will sustain the project or it will be left hanging just like the other projects,” said Mr Wahome.

According to the President of ISACA Kenya Chapter, Anthony Muiyuro, who is also the Director of Cybersecurity and Privacy at KPMG East Africa, the government needs to come up with data protection strategies and a plan on who will be liable in case of cyber breach.

Also read: Section of Kenyans complain after free WiFi is launched at Nairobi’s City, Muthurwa markets

“Many people are not able to differentiate between authentic and fake access points. Because of this, the government needed to create public awareness on such issues. If this is not done, then issues of online security will be a problem in the country,” Mr Muiyuro said.

“People using such hotspots also need to know the dangers they might get themselves into while the service providers also need to come up with ways of protecting the users from cybercriminals,” added Mr Muiyuro.

However, he lauded the government for coming up with such projects saying the government is moving in the right direction.

“I congratulate the government for coming up with such a project. It will help the youths in terms of connectivity and narrowing the gap in digital inequality in terms of network accessibility,” said Mr Muiyuro.