How to Prevent Online Shopping and Debit Card Fraud.

The Electronic Payments System is being targeted more and more by fraud. In order to prevent you from being a victim, always be vigilant with your debit card activities. The ease of shopping and comparing products and prices online has made it an attractive option for many shoppers. If you notice any unusual debit card activity on your statement, please notify the bank immediately to see what your bank can do to help.

Using a card provides you with extra protection if things go wrong – protection that you don’t necessarily have if you pay by cheque or cash. In addition to this extra protection provided, there are steps you can take to safeguard yourself.

Incorporating the practices listed below into your daily routine can help keep your cards and account numbers safe.

  • Check your statements. Don’t wait for the statement to come; check your online banking regularly. Watch for transactions that you didn’t make.
  • Limit your online purchasing to one card. When you use more cards, you allow access to more accounts.
  • Invest in a reloadable card when making online purchases. Reloadable cards allow you to limit the amount you place on the card and are not linked to your bank account. For example the Nakumatt Global Card and the KCB Pepea Card
  • Open a second checking account specially used for internet purchases. Don’t allow this account to be connected to your other accounts. Transfer only the purchase amount into the account.
  • Keep record of your internet transactions. Check your email for a confirmation after you have made purchases online. Verify your mailing address with the post office and  ­financial institutions.
  • Save your receipts to compare with your statement.
  • Don’t give your information out over the phone unless you’ve made the call to a company you know.
  • Your bank should have your information on file, so, don’t give out any personal or card number information if you receive a call to “verify fraudulent activity.
  • Use an online payment service like PayPal.
  • Use familiar websites. If you’ve never done business with them before, ­first do an online search for reviews or complaints.
  • Destroy your card when it expires or when a new card becomes effective.
  • Memorize your PIN. Do not write it on your card or keep it with you. Never give it out.
  • Remember to pick up your ATM receipts before leaving the ATM.
  • Be aware of added fixtures to ATMs, Skimming devices allow fraudsters to collect card and PIN information.

Finally, your card company should be your first point of contact – not the police. It will be up to your card company and not you the account holder, to pass details to the police. Where an additional crime has been committed with the fraud, for example, you have had your wallet stolen or your card used fraudulently as a result of a burglary, or if you want to claim on your household goods then this should still be reported to the police.


Will you read this article about ONLINE terms and conditions? You really should do

We live in a time of terms and conditions. Never before have we signed or agreed so many. But one thing hasn’t changed: we still rarely read them.T AND CC )
While companies need to protect their interests given the frivolous lawsuits in vogue, you should know when terms and conditions become more than standard operating procedure and turn into ransom notes. The consumer is forced to agree to the terms in order to proceed to the next step, whether it is to use a service or install software.
Here are some of the things that you should look for before clicking ‘I accept’.
                                                                                               Free mobile apps
INTERNET T AND CMany so-called free apps for your smartphone or tablet are supported by ads. Read through the terms—the app could be accessing your personal information, mainly to deliver targeted ads. Also, as mobile ads will be delivered whenever the app is active, it will add to your data usage at the end of the month.
Photo sharing and printing websites
You own the intellectual property rights to your photographs, but what happens if you upload themT AND C to a photo sharing website? Who owns them if you upload them to a stock photo site? Or to a photo printing website? You might be shocked to learn that several photo sharing/printing websites retain the right to use your photographs in any way they see fit in a ‘perpetual and irrevocable’ manner. So, check before uploading.
Buying online/booking tickets
This is one area that can have a lot of ambiguity. Do manufacturer warranties apply to products bought online? What happens if there is a defect or you need to return the item? If case of airline tickets, prices are volatile and you need to read the fine print to make sure that you can return and get a refund. Many ‘special fare tickets’ are sold on the condition that they will not be returned/refunded.
Protecting Twitter & Facebook accounts
A rising trend points towards websites allowing you to sign in and start using their services by using your existing Twitter, Google or Facebook ID. Though you skip the registration process (which encourages more users), the website identifies its visitor and gets more information. This is officially allowed using Facebook, Google connect and Twitter sign in. However, you may find automated posts and tweets being sent on your behalf. Check the permissions you are granting the site or app before allowing access to your account. If it says ‘Allow app/site to post/send tweet’ or ‘Grant permission to post on your behalf’, cancel and run.
Online shopping
Have you ever thought how your name and e-mail address find their way to various websites that you have never heard of? Whenever you sign up for newsletters, to comment on an article you read, or for a community forum, your personal information can be misused. Not only could this website start sending you e-mail spam (special offers, notices), but could even sell your e-mail ID to third parties without your consent.
Sharing personal information on e-mail
Ever notice how the text ads in your e-mail inbox are creepily ‘right on the money’? All the baby clothing store ads appear if you’ve had a baby. Camera stores materialise if you’re a photographer and local restaurants pop up if you’re discussing a dinner date with a friend. Targeted ads, especially those with accurate location and demographics, can earn a lot of money. By agreeing to the terms, you become the conduit.
By accepting these terms, you are literally agreeing to anything and everything the service imagesprovider may ask of you, now or in the future, as long as you are availing of its services. There aren’t too many ways out of the situation, other than opting for another service provider. However, needless to say, it is time you started reading the terms carefully, and more frequently.

Certain cybercrimes you need to know about

Any criminal activity that uses a computer either as an instrumentality, target or a means for cyber crimesperpetuating further crimes comes within the ambit of cybercrime.
All crimes performed by abuse of electronic media or otherwise, with the purpose of influencing the functioning of computer or computer system. The followings are the top listed types of cybercrime:
Hacking is a simple term means illegal intrusion into a computer system without the permission of the computer owner/user. Hackers usually do that with the intention of obtaining confidential information.
Virus Dissemination
Virus itself is software that attacks other software. It may cause for data loss, deduction of bandwidth speed, hardware damage etc. Trojan Horse, Time Bomb, Logic Bomb, Rabbit are the malicious software.
Software Piracy
Theft of software through the illegal coping of genuine programs or distribution of products intended to pass for the original.
Credit Card Fraud
You simply have to type credit card number into www page of the vendor for online transaction. If electronic transactions are not secured the credit card numbers can be stolen by the hackers who can misuse this card by impersonating the credit card owner.
Sale of Illegal Articles
Narcotics, weapons and wild life etc. are sold by posting information on websites, auction websites, and bulletin board or simply by using email communication. Many of auction sites are believed to be selling cocaine in the name of money.
Intellectual Property Crimes
These include software piracy, copyrights, infringement, trademark violations, theft of computer source code etc.
Email Spoofing
A spoofed email is one that appears to originate from one source but actually has been sent from another source. Personal Relationship may be jeopardized because of email spoofing.
Cyber Defamation
With help of computers and/ or the Internet When any defamation takes place it is called cyber defamation. It can tarnish personal image of any individual or reputation of any company, bank or institution.
Cyber Stalking
Cyber stalking involves following a person’s movement across the Internet by posting messages on the bulletin boards frequented by the victim, entering the chat-room frequently by the victim, constantly bombarding the victim with emails etc.
Email Bombing
Email bombing can be committed by sending huge number of emails to the victim resulting in the victim’s email account ( in case of an individual) or mail servers ( in case of company or an email service provider) crashing. Thousands of emails are sent to the personal account or mail server until it is crashed.
Data Diddling
Data diddling may be committed by altering raw data just before it is processed by a computer and then changing it back after processing is completed. Government offices may be victims to data diddling programs inserted when private parties were computerizing their systems.
Salami Attacks
For the commission of financial crimes salami attacks are used. Here the major thing is to make alteration which is so insignificant that in a single case it would go completely unnoticed. “For example a bank employee inserts a program, into the bank servers, that deduct a small amount of money from the account of every customer. No account holder will probably notice this unauthorized debit, but the bank employee will make a sizeable amount of money every month.

Child pornography

Child pornography is online trading of images of the children
involved in sexual activities.

Will a denial of broadcasting service to digitally non-compliant households constitute a violation of the constitutional right to receive information and ideas?


Digital broadcasting has emerged as a globally accepted standard for next-generation mass media. It presents a method of relaying radio and television signals with various advantages from analogue broadcasting. It enables a more efficient use of bandwidth and the bundling of multiple channels in one frequency. Moreover, digitally broadcast images, video and audio have a higher quality than their analogue counterparts. The transition from digital to signal broadcasting is arguably the most significant technological cross-over for television and is only closely rivaled, if not slightly surpassed, by the invention of colour television.


At the stroke of midnight at the end of 17th June 2015, all nations will cease all analogue broadcasts of radio and television signals and switch over to the transmission of digital-only signals with the exception of

digital migration
digital migration

some developing countries for which the transition period will end on 17 June 2020. On that date, all analogue television sets for which the owners will not have installed a digital signal converter will go black.

In Kenya however, the communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) have new self-imposed datelines. They will carry out the analogue switch-off exercise in 3 phases to wit; Nairobi on 13th December, 2013; Mombasa, Malindi, Nyeri, Meru, Kisumu, Webuye, Kisii, Nakuru and Eldoret on 30th March, 2014 and the rest of the country on 30th June, 2014.

Consumers of analogue television services and members of the public in general through Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) have opposed the move by CCK to switch off analogue television frequency signals by 13th December 2013 or any other date before June 2014. They contend that this notice is too short and inappropriate considering that December is a festive season, immediately after which school re-opening calendar together with prevalent economic challenges facing Kenyans puts financial pressure on poor households not to forget the need for Kenyans to follow important national developments which include devolution and constitutional implementation processes, among others.

CCK’s decision, in the event that it is sustained, will lock out millions of Kenyans from following important national matters such as legislations, government policies, and matters of national interest, among others as envisaged under Article 35 of the Constitution of Kenya. While they claim , that so far 500,000 set boxes have been sold in Nairobi, there is no similar evidence and goodwill to demonstrate that the over 3,500,000 remaining television owners will purchase the compulsory and prescribed gadgets

The consumers and general public right to information will be severely infringed because current free-to-air channels, some paid for by the taxpayer, are being forced into pay-TV bundles vide a set-top box which are not free of cost. The specific case in which consumers of television services cannot access NTV, Citizen TV and KTN on the StarTimes platform is one such discrimination, against Article 27(4) of the Constitution of Kenya, which is being perpetuated with untold impunity as CCK maintain their loud silence. It should be a requirement that all set-top boxes/integrated digital TVs must be able to receive all non-encrypted free to air TV. In Denmark, the Ministry of Research and Communication has determined (Danish Ministry of Research, departmental order no. 709 of 25 June 1996) that “Digital decoders must be constructed in a way that allows non-encrypted digital TV signals to pass transparently through them.”

Further, there has been no sufficient public information, education and communication campaign to raise awareness on digital migration to allow consumers the freedom of choice as envisaged in Article 46 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the Consumer Protection Act, 2012.

digital 2
The foregoing concerns are not the bitter pill of new technology that a society must take at a certain time in its development. Rather, once resolved, they will be the relish with which the consumer will find the transition to digital broadcasting more appetizing. The national digital broadcasting switchover programme will need to anticipate and resolve these concerns.

The Internet and The Constitution: Press Freedom

In the new Constitution freedom and independence of electronic, print and all other types of media is guaranteed, but does not extend to propaganda for war, incitement to violence, hate speech or advocacy of hatred that constitutes ethnic incitement, vilification of others or incitement to cause harm or is discriminatory.[1]

Furthermore, the state shall not exercise control over or interfere with any person engaged in broadcasting, the production or circulation of any publication or the dissemination of information by any medium.[2]Consequently, nobody is subject to penalty for any opinion or view or the content of any broadcast, publication or dissemination.[3]Broadcasting and other electronic media have freedom of establishment, subject only to licensing procedures that  are necessary to regulate the airwaves and other forms of signal distribution andare independent of control by government, political interests or commercial interests.[4]

The previous constitution did not bear any express reference to the ‘press’ or ‘the media’. However, even in the absence of an express reference to the term ‘media’ or ‘press’, section 79 of the previous Constitution guaranteed that “no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, that is to say, freedom to hold opinions without interference, freedom to receive ideas and information without interference, freedom to communicate ideas and information without interference (whether the communication be to the public generally or to any person or class of persons).

In this technology saturated world , one cannot assume matters relating to the Internet and since the constitutions describe  the degree and extent  of power which human beings should exercise  over each other in the process of governance, it is tantamount that there are clear provisions on the constitution regarding the same . Further there should legislations to re-enforce the provisions in the constitution

[1] Article 34 (1) of the Kenyan Constitution 2010.

[2] Article 34 (2) of the Kenya Constitution 2010.

[3] Article 34 (2) (b) of the Kenya Constitution 2010.

[4] Article 34 (3) of the Kenya Constitution 2010.

The Internet and The Constitution:Consumer Rights

In the emerging digital economy where technology is rapidly taking the place of personal interactions in the supply of goods and services, the consumer has become both more empowered and more vulnerable. Strong consumer protection regimes are an imperative for an Internet-driven globalized market.

The repealed Constitution did not make any provisions declaring the rights of consumers. Consumer protection therefore remained the subject of statutory enactments/Acts of Parliament. The Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998 and its Kenya Communications Regulations 2001 made various provisions for the protection of consumers of ICT services.

However under the current Constitution,in section 47 all Consumers    have the right-


  •  to goods and services of reasonable quality;
  • to the information necessary for them to gain full benefit from goods and services;
  • to the protection of their health, safety and economic interests; and
  • to be compensated for loss or injury arising from defects in goods or services.

Closely linked with consumer rights is the right to fair administrative action. A modern trend in many administrative offices has been the adoption of service charters that include an open door policy where members of the public can present their grievances. However, this is a practice that depends on the goodwill of the officeholder as it is not anchored in law. Even while in the communications sector the Regulator, Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has been generally fair in responding to consumer complaints, the law will now compel them to also be expeditious, efficient, lawful, reasonable as well as procedurally fair.

Consequently, Consumer Protection Bill, 2011 is to be enacted to provide for the protection of the consumer, prohibit unfair trade practices in consumer transactions,to promote a fair, accessible and  sustainable marketplace for consumer products and services and for that purpose to establish national norms and standards relating to consumer protection, to provide for improved standards of consumer information, to promote responsible consumer behavior, to promote a consistent legislative and enforcement framework relating to consumer transactions and agreements, to make consequential amendments to various other Acts; and to provide for matters connected with and incidental thereto.

The Internet and The Constitution:Right of Access to Public Information

Information is the raw material for the emerging knowledge economy. Public information, in particular, is part of the common heritage of humanity. Maximising access to this information promotes justice and the rule of law. It is therefore important that organisations that have the right to publish public information and the government bodies that create or control that information avail it to the public in a form that is accurate, timely and accessible.

Under the new Constitution every citizen is guaranteed the right to information held by the State or by another person that is required for the exercise or protection of any right or fundamental freedom. The right to correction or deletion of untrue or misleading information is also assured.[1] Finally, the provision to the public of timely and accurate information is included in Article 232’s articulation of the values and principles that should guide public institutions in fulfilling their service to the public.[2] Kenyans now have free online access to the historical and current records of the debates of the Kenya National Assembly and previous parliaments or legislatures dating as far as 1960 and coming forward to 2011. This comes close on the heels of digitizing over 100 years of the Kenya Gazette

Though the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression includes the right to “receive ideas and information without interference”[3] the previous Constitution did not create any public right to information held by the state.The transparency of international, national and local administrations is a basis for their legitimacy and public trust.

[1] Section 35 (1) provides that  every citizen has the right to access-

a. information held by the State; and

b. Information held by another person and required for the exercise or protection of any right or fundamental freedom.

(2) Every person has the right to the correction or deletion of untrue or misleading information that affects the person.

(3) The State shall publish and publicize any important information affecting the nation.

[2] Section 232 (1) The values and principles of public service include:

(f) transparency and provision to the public of timely, accurate information.

[3] Section 79 of the now repealed Constitution of Kenya.

The Internet and the Constitution:Freedom of Expression

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
― George Orwell

The freedom to express and receive information has not only been a defining value of the information society but is also hard-wired into the architecture of the Internet – an open and collaborative platform where people freely and in most cases anonymously share information and ideas.[1] Existing as well as emerging communications technologies have redefined the way regulatory authorities look at information censorship and thrown into redundancy traditional means of controlling the flow of information within and outside their national boundaries.

The provision for freedoms of expression provided for under Article 33[2] of new Constitution is expanded to include artistic expression as well as academic and scientific freedom. This presents a shift from the past where divergence was sometimes taken as opposition and it should create an opportunity in the ICT sector for acceptance of alternative information systems and software. However, the freedom does not extend to propagation of war, incitement to violence, hate speech and advocacy of hatred.[3]

In the previous Constitution, freedom of expression was guaranteed under section 79(1). The right encompassed freedom to hold opinions without interference, freedom to receive ideas and information without interference, freedom to communicate ideas and information without interference (whether the communication be to the public generally or to any person or class of persons) and freedom from interference with his correspondence.

[1] See Michael Murungi, Kenya’s New Constitution Sets New Standards for Privacy and Data Protection,available at (last accessed on 18/7/2011).

[2] Article 33(1) of the new Constitution provides that :

Every person has the right to freedom of expression, which includes –

a.freedom to seek, receive or impart information or ideas;

b.freedom of artistic creativity; and

c.academic freedom and freedom of scientific research

[3]  Article 33(2) of the Kenyan constitution.


The Internet emerged as an increasingly important forum for political debate, particularly during the run-up to the August 2010 referendum in which voters approved a new constitution. Political and civic organizations used the Internet to distribute educational material such as pamphlets, videos, and statements about their positions on the draft constitution, as well as to publicize rallies related to the referendum.I will be reviewing  the different laws within the Constitution that  relate to the Internet and I will also give a comparative analysis of the old and new Constitutions in relation to the Internet

This document ratified by Kenyans at the Referendum presents a paradigm shift in ICT and also provides a basis for enactment of lacking laws such as data protection, freedom of information, privacy and consumer protection which have been blamed for drawing back the industry.

Privacy and Confidentiality

For a long time, the right to privacy had not been expressly legislated as a constitutional norm in Kenya. Save as a broad constitutional norm encompassed in the freedom from unlawful entry into one’s premises, the search and seizure of one’s property[1] and effects and freedom from interference with one’s correspondence,[2] the right to privacy was not expressly legislated as a constitutional or statutory norm in Kenya. As a corollary, there was no express constitutional right to confidentiality and the protection of personal information. Kenyan practice on the right to privacy and confidentiality was guided largely by English Common law. The rights expressed in these provisions were made subject to the standard constitutional exceptions to the enjoyment of individual rights: the interests of national defence, public order and morality, the rights of other persons and the exercise of authority by state officers.

The right to privacy as provided for in  Article 31 of the Constitution  was expanded to include the right not to have information relating to a person’s family or private affairs unnecessarily required or revealed as well as the right not to have the privacy of a person’s communications infringed.[3]This was a positive step in a digital world where interactions requiring personal data are more common than before therefore making the need for protection of the person paramount. This provision also provides a basis for the long awaited legislation on data protection as well as privacy.

As far as privacy and data protection is concerned, the new Constitution has made an emphatic break with the tradition of the repealed Constitution. Kenyans’ rights to privacy, to access to public information and the right to object to unnecessary demands for personal information has leapt out of legal obscurity to claim their place in the new bill of rights among constitutionally elite rights such as the right to life and freedom of expression.[4] In due course, Kenya’s parliament or the Judiciary should, through statutory enactments and judicial opinions, make further provisions relating to more particular aspects of data protection, such as the classes of personal information and their differential treatment and a delineation of the circumstances that would constitute a reasonable demand for or disclosure of personal information.

[1] In section 76 of the now repealed constitution it was provided that:

Except with his own consent, no person shall be subjected to the search of his person or property or the entry by others on his premises.’

[2] Section 79 provided that:

Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, that is to say, freedom to hold opinions without interference, freedom to receive ideas and information without interference, freedom to communicate ideas and information without interference and freedom from interference
with his correspondence.’


[3] In the New Constitution,Article 31 provides:

Every person has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have-

  1. their person, home or property searched;
  2. their possessions seized;
  3. information relating to their family or private affairs unnecessarily required on revealed; or
  4. the privacy of their communications infringed.

[4] See Michael Murungi, Kenya’s New Constitution Sets New Standards for Privacy and Data Protection,available at (last accessed on 18/7/2011).