This Week in Tech: Safaricom to Use Photo ID to Fight M-PESA Fraud and More Weekly Tech Trends


    July weather is still on. Staying warm should be your mission, looking cute can wait.

    The good news is that the tech world was made for all seasons, including winter. A lot has happened in the tech world this week.

    Below are the top trending topics this week:

    1. No pesa for M-PESA fraudsters

    It seems like M-PESA fraudsters will be forced to go back to the drawing board and rethink their strategy or close shop.

    Kenya’s leading telco Safaricom had announced that M-PESA agents will soon start using photo identification to fight M-PESA fraud.

    The prevention measure is dubbed ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC).

    2. TIDDP brings you the behind-the-scenes of county governments

    The Integrated Devolution Data Portal (TIDDP) will give the public access to information on devolution and county governments.

    TIDDP also seeks to increase public participation in county governance and hopefully enhance transparency.

    3. Google tools to safeguard media during the Kenya election period

    Google and Jigsaw have launched a set of tools designed to safeguard the Kenyan media from digital attacks during the August general elections.

    These tools include Protect Your Election, Project Shield, and Two-Step Verification.

    Speaking during the launch, Google Kenya Country Manager Charles Murito said that the tools will ensure that everyone receives credible stories.

    He added that the tools will safeguard publishers, news organizations, human right groups, and election monitoring sites from digital attacks during the election period.

    4. Mdundo seems to be using lethal weaponry to kill piracy

    Remember Mdundo? The music distribution service was launched in 2013 to provide music lovers access to affordable music.

    Mdundo just announced that it has crossed the 8 million users mark.

    The company announced that it has over 1.5 million users per month and 18 million downloads over the past 6 months.

    The company offers both free and premium versions of service.

    5. KFC adds an interesting item to its already awesome menu, a smartphone

    The KFC-branded Huawei smartphone has been released into the Chinese markets. The new menu item is spicy hot red.

    The smartphone comes with okay specs but the KFC-branded pre-installed music app rocks.

    And did I mention that Colonel Sanders face is embossed on the back?

    6. Microsoft leaves Windows Phone 8.1 for the dead

    Microsoft has announced that they will withdraw all support for Windows Phone 8.1.

    This means no more security updates, non-security updates, or assisted support (both paid and free).

    This also means that your Windows Phone is as good as crippled if you do not upgrade it to Windows 10.

    7. Whatsapp file sharing becomes even more useful

    Whatsapp has added support for document sharing letting you share any file type.

    The file sharing update allows you to share files additional formats including .zip, .mkv, and xml.

    There is still size limit, however, since the files being sent cannot be heavier than 100MB for Android and 128MB for iOS.

    The update also includes the option to bold, italicize, or strikethrough your chats with a simple tap and hold over the words to be formatted.

    8. Microsoft gives Android and iOS app a new face

    Microsoft has released an update for the Outlook app for both Android and iOS.

    This update brings a redesigned conversations and navigation pages.

    9. Google’s new 2-step verification

    Today, someone can steal your account password without breaking a sweat.

    Google will from next week give users the option to verify their signings instead of the previous system that used SMS only.

    The SMS 2-step verification is especially useful for users who still prefer the old SMS verification method.

    10. Whatsapp gets a C- on guarding user privacy

    Companies draft the best privacy policies; they will make you feel that your personal details are in the right hands.

    Lucky for us, third parties such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) give us the real tea.

    That’s how we know that Whatsapp has received 2 out of possible 5 stars when it comes to following industry best practices on users’ privacy.

    Turns out your private chats may not be as safe as you would imagine.

    That’s it for this week. Have an awesome weekend.

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