The modern world is developing to a point where it is almost impossible to move forward without the dependence on computers and this has had a direct impact on development. However, this same development also poses a significant risk.

The exponential growth of this technology has also brought about the rise of cyber crime which is a now common occurrence in today’s digital world. As the number of people with connectivity increases, so does the number of opportunities for criminals to commit crimes from their computers.

Kenya for instance has been experiencing a growing number of cybercrimes that threaten security, citizens’ privacy.

At most occasions, many countries and governments are usually caught flatfooted when such attacks occur. To address the problem, the Kenyan ICT ministry came up with the Computer and Cyber Crimes Bill 2016.

The Bill seeks to combat cybercrimes and provides for international co-operation to punish perpetrators who are in other jurisdictions. It also aims to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer systems, programs and data. Among the offences listed are unauthorised access and unauthorised interference of computer systems, data and system interference, child pornography and other computer related fraud.

It is also a crime to knowingly receive and share passwords without authority for unlawful purposes like wrongful gain.

The Computer and Cybercrime Bill 2016 is also aimed at improving investigations into cybercrimes by making provisions for procedural law tools and securing electronic evidence for effective national and international cooperation.

The legislation proposes tough and strict penalties for those who commit offenses under the law. Infiltrating security measure and gaining access to a computer system, with full knowledge that such actions are unauthorized attracts large fines of up to Kshs 25 million or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 3 years or both.

Online stalkers and cyber bullies are also at risk of conviction if this Bill passes. The menace has become rampant in this age of social media and has in some cases led to serious cases of stress, depression and even suicide.

The Computer and Cybercrime Bill 2016 was approved by the Kenyan cabinet chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta as part of its ongoing efforts to challenge cyber-crime in the east African community. These crimes are more than common these days and many people have been victims of these heinous acts and it is our hope as a country that the Bill – with its provisions – will go a long way in upholding data protection principles and preventing irreparable harm to people.

One of the ways you can keep yourself protected from cyber crime is by getting effective cyber risk insurance from AON Kenya. It may seem like something only big companies get but ask yourself, why let your very important data fall into the wrong hands? Get yourself insured today!

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