Securing the cyber perimeter
According to the 2014 Global Economic Crime Survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, 69 per cent of South African respondents reported having been a victim of cybercrime over the preceding 24 months. Phishing, smishing, identity theft, credit card fraud, and clickbait are pervasive and pose a serious threat to any and all users of digital devices. Here are five apps to secure your devices, your information, your finances, and your family from cybercrime as well as the continuous threat of contact crimes.
1. 1Password Cost: Free Platform: iOS, Android Everything you do online these days requires a password, and not just any password but a secure password that doesn’t get recycled and includes letters, numbers and/or symbols. A recent survey by security firm Kaspersky Lab and B2B International found that 20 per cent of South Africans see no value in their passwords and are lazy about not recycling them. This puts users at greater risk because once one account is broken into – all information secured under that same password is at risk. 1Password generates strong, unique passwords for all of your accounts and logs you in at the tap of a finger. The app offers users quick, convenient access to all of your secure information which can be organised in-app. The app also encrypts all data with your master password that you can use to access your accounts even if your device is lost or stolen.
2. MamaBear Family Safety Cost: Platform: The safety of your loved ones is of chief importance, and you want to keep them safe without smothering them. The MamaBear app encourages larger boundaries for your kids while still giving you the peace of mind that comes from knowing more about their physical and virtual activity. Kids can send emergency notifications or pick-me-up requests, and parents can monitor filtered information about their kids’ social media activity including new friends and the use of certain words on a personally customised list. Parents can even monitor their teenagers driving speeds with a pre- set speed limit.
3. Kids Media Cost: Free Platform: iOS, Android, Kindle There is so much undesirable media online that anyone who can read and write, or even just tap their little finger at, can access. The AAP encourages parents to make use of established rating systems for any entertainment media to avoid inappropriate content like violence, explicit sexual content or glorified use of tobacco and alcohol. The Kids Media app is a product of Common Sense Media and allows discerning parents to make smart media choices through a large library of trusted, independent age-based and educational ratings and reviews of movies, games, TV shows, websites, music, and books. The app allows you to make profiles to personalise your searches for appropriate content, and the detailed reviews also provide critical information on the type of role models portrayed.
4. Find my iPhone Cost: Platform: You’ve lost your phone, or worse, it’s been stolen. Don’t panic. The Find My iPhone app will help you locate your missing iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. Lost mode even allows you to play detective by providing geographic details of where your phone has been since you’ve had it in your possession. You can remotely erase your entire device to keep your personal information safe as well as display a custom message, possibly including contact details, with instructions for returning your device. That way, if you’ve just lost your iPhone/iPad/iPod/Mac, whoever finds it can call you from the locked screen without having (or being able) to access information on your device. *A similar app, called Find My Android Phone, is available on Android devices.
5. Spoiler Shield Cost: Platform: There’s one other thing we need virtual protection from: spoilers. This app filters your social media feeds so that you don’t have to worry about seeing the results of the rugby match you missed the day before or details about the sitcom that you’ve got waiting for you on PVR when you get home.