End To End Encryption: Are You Safe?


What's the android app you consider unhackable?

Let's narrow down to social apps. Those that you all install first after you buy a new or just change phones.

Probably whatsapp will come to your lips first. But hold your horses and read on. It came to mine first as well. Until I went job hunting on LinkedIN. I am super curious about technology. The irresistible urge to keep digging on it is a bulging hungry monster.

So I met this Russian lady. She looked pretty. Her profile indicated she deals android security systems. Beautiful women with brains intrigue me. We got to be friends or connections as we refer to them on LinkedIN. I then happened to quit job hunting, went back to class and a year later I would make a grand re-entry into the job search. I found her again. On the same platform. And better. Now working for a reputable company.

The other day I asked for her whatsapp number. And she offered it without a second thought.

As we chat, I brought up the issue of mobile and personal data security considering the pace at which the world is embracing mobile money technology. So we would go on and discuss facial recognition, iris and fingerprint scanners as the glimmer of hope.

We went on and on until she asked,

"Duncan! Have you been invaded or what? You're too passionate about this security topic!"

That was followed with a platoon of hysterical laughter emojis. Before I could answer she added,

"Make a career out this energy."

I answered that I've never been hacked and I thought hacking might be fiction!

"To say am shocked that with all this passion and curiosity about personal security, you would be doubtful about the possibility of hacking is an understatement!"

This caught me by surprise. So I threw back a thoughtful emoji.

"Can I show you something?" She asked and I was like of course! Why not?

Then things went south.

"Send me a photo you wouldn't want anyone to see even if it's accidentally!"

I was like damn what?! But I did send. Then she asked me to switch on my phone location, share my whatsapp location with her only and on Security Settings I check "Allow Installation from Unknown Sources"!

By now am super curious but am following leads like a sheep on a leash! This is the last mistake am making online after I was conned two hundred and fifty thousand in December last year. Hay for another rainy day that one.

We had agreed that whatever is to happen my information is on her hands and she assured me I was safe. After I was done with her instructional checklist, she asked me to contact someone who can view my status because I won't be able to see it's been updated!

And I did. My private photo was on my status!

To prove to me she was inside my account she viewed statuses I hadn't opened and sent screenshots. I was stupified! I had to delete my account, uninstall whatsapp and go missing in action for twenty four hours as I recuperated.

We're still friends though but you all beware, it's not yet the fist quarter of the twenty first century yet we can't predict what technology will be doing a decade from now.

I would love to hear from you. What's your experience with online security? Do you feel safe or unsafe in a space you consider personal. Tell me your short story in comments and I will reply each one of them.

From the above,

Keep your phone location on ONLY when it's necessary. Switch it off if you are not using a feature that does require it. It's unsafe and power consuming.

Uncheck install from unknown sources in security settings unless it's an app you sure have sent to yourself via sharing apps and are aware of it's data safety standards. Remember to uncheck after installing.

Stop sharing WhatsApp location! It's not funny.

Kindly share this information with friends and family as well. Don't be selfish.

Safe week ahead.

MountainCranium kenya_public@operanewshub.com