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How to keep your children safe online

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As a parent in Kenya today, we generally do everything we can to keep our children safe and well. From getting them to “slip, slop, slap”  shape before going out in the sun to being careful when crossing the road.
With 89% of its population online, Kenya has one of the highest levels of internet penetration in the world. Use of internet has increased in the recent years and as a result increasing number of children who now have unsupervised access to the internet. While children can derive great benefit from internet access, it also renders them vulnerable to risk such as:

  • Exposure to fraudulent/illegal practices.
  • Exposure to unsuitable content and potential harassment from third parties.
  • Addictive and compulsive content such as gambling and gaming which may as a result incite young people to aggressiveness and violence.

Thus the need to introduce some ways to protect them from all this. It’s time to introduce some cyber safety know-how to your parental toolkit and here is a few ways how:

1. Talk openly to your child about their online activity.

As soon as your child starts accessing the internet, talk to them about what they are reading, watching and who they are communicating with online. Ensure to keep the conversation going as they grow older.

2. Keep screens and devices where you can see them.

Always monitor your child’s time online, particularly younger children. Keep the computer in a central spot in the home.  An area where it’s easy to keep an eye on what your child is doing and viewing online.

3. Know your parental controls.

Innocent searches online can lead to not-so-innocent results, therefore it’s wise to know how to use the parental controls/search restrictions offered by web browsers and internet service provider. https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/.

4. Know who your children’s online friends are.

As adults, we know that some people online aren’t who they say they are but children and young people can be alarming naïve about who they are chatting. Because of this, we need to teach them to be cyber wise from an early age.

5. Teach your children to protect their privacy and most of all keep their location private.

Most apps, networks and devices have geo-tagging features. These features make your whereabouts public and can lead someone directly to you. These features therefore should be turned off for obvious privacy and safety reasons. https://www.esafety.gov.au/ .

6. Be #SocialNetwork

Talk to your children about how they can stay safe on social networks. Encourage them to talk to a trusted person when they are worried and ensure they are aware of what constitutes online bullying, both as a perpetrator and a victim.

Ultimately, you don’t want to instil fear in your child and prevent them from experiencing the many educational, entertainment and social benefits of the internet but rather give them the skills and knowledge they need to know how to make the most of it and avoid the dangers.

If your child uses social networks, be sure they know how to:

  • Report inappropriate and/or offensive posts.
  • Block someone.
  • Keep information private.

How Do iNet Africa Services Work

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Have you ever wondered how your internet gets to your home when you use our service? Or are you considering taking up our services and want to understand how we deliver connectivity. We love curiosity and helping our clients understand more about how we work!

iNet Africa is primarily a Wireless ISP (or WISP as it’s known in the biz). That means we deliver all of our connectivity via wireless radio communication. You can read the differences between wired (nowadays mainly optical fibre) and wireless networks here.

Fig 1

Our distribution system is broken into 3 mains parts:

  • Backhaul/Backbone
  • Towers & Access Points
  • Customer Premise Equipment (CPE)
BACKHAUL/BACKBONEFiber optic cables

The backbone or backhaul of any network is the main source of the internet to our distribution sites or base stations, Seen in the picture above as the link between the internet and our Tower. This is an optical fibre cable that connects all of our base stations to our main offices in Malindi and Watamu and then goes all the way to Mombasa, where it is now routed out to the global internet via undersea optical fibre cables that travel thousands of kilometres on the sea-bed. These optical cables are able to carry up-to 10Gbps of data all the way from Malindi to Mombasa and back to Malindi at only 3 milliseconds (this is called the latency, how long it takes for a packet, fancy word for a piece of data to travel between two internet devices).

To provide the level of reliability that our customers have now gotten accustomed to we have multiple fibres that enter Malindi and Watamu on different pathways to ensure we always have at-least one link online if the other gets damaged or cut.

 

TOWERS & ACCESS POINTS

The wired connection is converted to a wireless signal at our towers using access points.

These are radio’s that take in a wired connection and output a signal in the 5Ghz frequency that is conducted out to the air by a connected antenna into electromagnetic waves, which can be received by other antennas and converted back to wired signals. These radio waves are not harmful to humans at all, high frequencies are ionising, at 5Ghz these signal’s are less harmful than the light that comes out of your light bulbs at home.

The access points are placed on tall towers to provide maximum coverage, due to the nature of the 5Ghz wave we need to have a line of sight between the access points and receiver, meaning the signal can be blocked by tree’s and buildings and being high enough allows us to avoid such obstacles. Malindi and Watamu are quite a flat terrain which allow’s us to have a good coverage using only a few base stations.

 

CUSTOMER PREMISE EQUIPMENT

Signal’s are converted to electromagnetic waves by the antennas, these can be converted back to electricity when they come into contact with another antenna, and the level of that power received is called the signal strength. We mount radio’s with integrated antennas on to the customer’s premises on to a pole upto 20 feet high, the height depends on height of

the building and tree coverage near by. The device is pointed toward the nearest base station and carefully aligned to get the best receive signal. If you already have a connection with us in

Malindi these are the dishes we put on your roof or the flat rectangular receiver on the poles in Watamu. This device converts the received signal back to electrical signals and passes it down to

your router which reconverts it back to WiFi which your devices are able to connect to and access the internet. The setup that we would do at your premise can be seen above in Fig 1 show’s a typical setup in your home. Sometimes we require 2 routers to ensure the WiFi signal has coverage in larger homes.

 

If you have any questions about anything above please call us on 0741216568 or shoot us an email at services@inet.africa