Tips to avoid cybercrime

Stock image Be aware of cybercrime these holidays and avoid becoming a victim.

In information provided by Autopage, it stated that security software, processes and systems were not enough to beat cyber criminals who are clever, focused and have time.

South Africa is one of only 28 countries to have a cyber security policy in place, but it is widely criticised. According to the South African Banking Risk Information Centre, we have been victim to the most cyber attacks on the continent this year, and we lose in excess of R2.2 billion to internet fraud and phishing attacks annually.

Cybercrime, overall, costs the country about R5.8 billion annually. Just recently hackers have accessed the accounts of UK mobile users’ accounts to access their bank sort codes and details.

Eleanor Mitrovich Potter, consumer executive at Autopage gives seven tips to protect yourself from cybercrime:

  • Protect your phone with antivirus software/apps
  • Consider the consequences of social media posts, both from a reputational and security perspective
  • Only use location services when necessary
  • Change passwords regularly and use alphanumeric characters and symbols
  • Beware of unsecured wi-fi networks – use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if you must connect
  • Be suspicious of e-mails from strangers or strange e-mails from friends – call them to check before you open them and click on links
  • If you shop online, use a secure payment mechanism such as PayPal, rather than providing credit card details to a range of outlets.

Cybercrime, like any crime, will always be a reality. As consumers, it’s up to us to take responsibility and educate ourselves to avoid being soft targets.

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