New tools to prevent online attacks on journalists launched

Global tech giant, Google photo:courtesy

Global tech giant, Google, in collaboration with Jigsaw, have launched a set of free tools meant to protect journalists covering the upcoming General Election.

One of the tools, Protect Your Election, helps to safeguard what journalists and news sites publish.

And Project Shield helps guard against common types of digital attacks during the election period. The main dangers to election online data are distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack as well as phishing.

A DDoS attack occurs when online crooks take a website offline by overwhelming it with traffic. Phishing, on the other hand, is when someone tricks you into sharing personal information online.


Project Shield provides free DDoS safeguards to news sites, individual journalists, human rights groups, and election monitoring sites – organisations whose work is particularly critical before and during elections.


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Google Kenya Country Manager Charles Murito said the new tools offer digital defences for individuals, including Password Alert, — an extension that alerts you if a website is trying to steal your Google password.

“By making it easier for organisations to defend themselves against these threats, journalists can publish freely and citizens can access the stories, debates, and policies when it’s most important to a nation,” says Murito.

About 125,000 DDoS attacks happen every week and millions of phishing attempts are recorded every few months.

During the past few years, there has been a rise in digital attacks targeting government, political party, and journalists’ websites around the world.

One of the raging debates around the world is whether Russia infiltrated America’s electoral system and gave Donald Trump a headstart by weakening the Democratic Party and its candidate, Hilary Clinton.



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