I got my first Facebook account when I was barely ten. I was not active but Yahoo and Facebook were still the fuss. I decided I needed one, and many years later I have a social media account almost everywhere. But what I recently understood from watching Eye Candy is that as soon as any sort of information about you is on social media then you’re more susceptible to cyber crimes. In Kenya, we tend to ignore the possibilities of cyber crimes yet hackers are steps ahead of us.
Eye Candy is a series about a young lady whose best friend puts her up on a dating site and saves her as Eye Candy. The dating app works like Tinder and other well-known dating sites. With the app, you get to know who has liked your photo and they are never too far to meet you as soon as possible.
As Eye Candy is in a club waiting to meet her dates she ends up in a wild mess. Just as soon as her information is up on the dating sites, one man ends up being obsessed with her and happens to be a serial killer who uses the dating app to kill people who lie about their imperfections. For example, if he sees a person who wears lenses or anything fake he meets up with them and removes the imperfection in a rather ruthless manner.
Eye Candy who is a well-known hacker ends up working for the cybercrime unit to try and find the killer. What astonished me is just how much one could find out about someone through social media and particularly hackers. I never thought about cyber crimes until I watched this series. Mostly when we get online, we tend to upload photos, send mail or chat. But there is a thin wall between criminals online and people who are not there maliciously but are targeted. From this show, I learnt about the following crimes.
1. Hacking: This is a type of crime wherein a person’s computer is broken into so that his personal or sensitive information is accessed. The criminal in this case uses a variety of software to enter a person’s computer and the person may not be aware that his computer is being accessed.
2. Theft: This crime occurs when copyrights are violated. We are all well-known for downloading music, movies, games and software. There are peer-sharing websites which encourage piracy.
3. Cyberstalking: These stalkers know their victims and like eye candy they stalk them. The victim is sometimes put in a position where they have to respond to the stalkers and when it gets worse the stalkers become offline stalkers.
4. Identity theft: This has become a major problem with people using the internet for cash transactions and banking services. In this crime, a criminal accesses data about a person’s personal account such as credit cards, social security, debit card and other sensitive information to get money or to buy things online.
5. Malicious software: These are internet-based software or programs that are used to ruin computers or networks. This is why you should not click on random adverts especially on dodgy websites as they may have viruses that could destroy your system.
6. Child soliciting and abuse: This is a type of cybercrime where criminals solicit minors through chat rooms for the purpose of child pornography. In eye candy, a website is discovered where some paedophiles log on to watch children and sex traffic all online.
Most cyber crimes are individual cyber crimes as the series shows. As I watched the show I couldn’t help but wonder what does Kenya do to decrease cyber crimes. Though from watching Eye Candy I am certainly more careful about the kind of information I upload on social media. Keep your life a bit more secretive, do not just accept any friend online and if you are on any dating app then you need to be cautious about who you end up meeting on a date.
Vanessa Raychael is a young writer passionate about writing. She is a student at Daystar University. She has written for the People newspaper as a fiction writer and she also hosts a show in a gospel station known as Vision TV. During her spare time, she likes nature trails, spending time with friends and going for events. You can check out her work on her blog nochills.blogspot.com