A lot of times, online citizens are aware of the risks pertaining to having an online presence but are rarely informed of how to practically be safe and kind not only to themselves but also to other online citizens. This was the biggest takeaway from the second edition of the iHub’s Online Safety Fair that was held on the 14th December 2019. Through the gloomy weather that ruled the day, we had quite the time learning the perceptions of young Kenyans that grace online platforms daily.
Through the Online Safety Card and Online Safety Bingo, we learnt that while the participants enjoyed learning about tools such as Password Managers and 2-Factor Authentication, they were more keen to learn practically how to install and run these tools on their devices.
One of the newest additions to the Fair was the Spectogram, an interactive session focused on hosting non-conclusive debates regarding online behaviour. One of the statements that drew in a lot of controversy was "Taking screenshots of other people’s pictures or your conversations is an invasion of privacy". This was especially so, because taking screenshots is a daily part of "tea" as is commonly termed and majority of the attendees that participated in this session saw no problem with sharing screenshots of their personal messages with other friends. The main objective of this session was to develop empathy for the differing opinions that emerged and to influence, through conversation, better online behaviour.
Another new addition to the Fair, was the Glass Room Experience, a pop-up exhibition whose hands-on activities such as the Zuckerberg House, The Empire and The Real Life of Your Selfie, encourage awareness on data and privacy. The experience designed by Tactical Tech, introduces fairly new concepts in the field of data with regards to Machine Learning which sparked exciting debates on how emerging technology is developed to discriminate certain intersections such as race and gender. Participants were also pleased to take home Data Detox Kits, step-by-step guides on how to control and protect the information they share with friends and even companies.
The Fair, although tailored towards the online behaviour of young citizens, attracted senior citizens in kind who made up about a third of the participants. The older participants pleased with what they took away from the fair, will be back this month for the first edition of the Dignified program which is a digital literacy program focused on senior citizens.
In the event that you are keen on running an online safety session, please reach out to [email protected]