Makerere University

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Do You Worry About Unsolicited Emails and How They Came About - Protecting Your Privacy

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By Arthur Moses Opio

As we continue to get feedback from staff about the different communications we make especially in regards to ICT security.

It makes us realize that we need to do more awareness and continue educating each other on “ICT BEST PRACTICES”.

We continue to use systems and do a lot of work online. As we write this email, you are probably responding to a query online, or you are asking for ICT support using any platform.

It could range from an internal system like or via the different social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype, WhatsApp, etc.).

Right now as you probably browse Facebook. You will see “SUGGESTED FRIENDS” this is because you have allowed the Facebook APP to have access to your contacts. In doing so, they have an algorithm that can bring up people you have contacted before or even in a long time. This is because Facebook will try as much as possible to force you to connect as long as you use their APP or even the web version.


Whenever we accept the terms and conditions and click “Agree” without reading, we might not know how much we are giving up.

Naturally we don’t want to read to know what the APP is going to use our information for. By agreeing you are binding yourself to a contract and in that contract it means whatever they told you to do whether you are ignorant of it, you wouldn’t have any defence. So let us start to read, it could help you make a decision going forward.


  • PRIVACY POLICY - Before you submit your name, email address, or any other information on a website, please look for the privacy policy. In this policy you will find statements that show you how the information will be used. Sometimes your information is shared with third parties and you will clearly find it stated. You could also be offered to subscribe to mailing lists. Make sure you look for indications that you are being added to a mailing list by default. If you cannot find a privacy policy, that could be a red flag.
  • EVIDENCE THAT YOUR INFORMATION IS ENCRYPTED – If personal information is to be prevented from being stolen by hackers. All online submissions should be encrypted so that it can only be read by the appropriate recipient. Many sites use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Hypertext Transport Protocol Secure (HTTPS). A padlock icon in the bottom right corner of the window indicates that your information will be encrypted.


  1. Do not use your primary email address in online submissions.  When you submit your email address, this could result in SPAM MAIL which we continue to enlighten you on. We do suggest that you open say another google or yahoo or Hotmail account that you can use online. There are some academic journals like research gate that might request you identify yourself as part of an institution, these are the ones that might require your Makerere email(at least you know what research gate does.)
  2. Remove default options like that of storing passwords online, whenever you are told to click “Remember Password”, please click “NEVER
  3. Avoid using debit cards for online purchase(they do not offer online security, only use credit cards do, your bank should be able to tell you more