HOW TO PROTECT
THERE were more than 50 million global cyberattacks over the 2017 holiday season. South Africa has the third highest number of cybercrime victims worldwide – losing about R2.2 billion to cyberattacks each year.
In the UK, more than a quarter of all online scams occur over the Christmas period. More South Africans prefer to do their festive shopping online to avoid the mall rush, but this spike in online shopping marks an ideal hunting ground for cybercriminals. Consumers doing their festive shopping online could be at risk of losing up to R70 000 per incident to cybercrime according to IT group Dimension Data.
Research by Barclays shows that more than a quarter of all online scams in the UK occur over the Christmas period, while Threat Metrix said there were more than 50 million global cyberattacks over the 2017 holiday season. Trends on local shores are much the same: according to the SA Banking Risk Information Centre, South Africa has the third highest number of cybercrime victims worldwide, losing about R2.2bn a year to cyberattacks. TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST CYBERCRIME: ◆ Read about cybercrime. The more you know, the more likely you are to spot a con and the less likely you will fall for scams.
◆ Don’t use your social media profiles to
log in to other accounts.
◆ Use strong passwords, with a variety of upper case and lower case letters, symbols and numbers. Never write them down where other people can see them. You should also try to change them every now and then.
◆ Only use reputable online shopping sites. One thing you can do is to look at the URL of the website. If it begins with “https” instead of “http” it means the site is secure. Also check with friends if they’ve heard of it or used it before.
◆ Be extra cautious when using wi-fi hotspots. Some scammers falsify popular hotspots.
◆ Don’t click on random links.
◆ Use good quality security software and a firewall on your computer, and update them regularly.
◆ To protect against identity theft, take care not to reveal too much about yourself on social media networks.
◆ Back up the data on your computer
◆ Do not respond to random emails claiming that you have won a prize or inherited money.
◆ Keep an eye on your monthly statements to identify unusual/ unauthorised transactions or behaviours.