WITH more people getting robbed by internet crooks everyday, we must do more to protect our money.
People need to be more proactive and understand how online criminals work and what actions they can take to recognise and block scams.
The word “skelm” is an Afrikaans word that has been adopted by all cultures in Mzansi but it means the same thing: sinister thieves. The word is also the inspiration behind the campaign that wants to empower people against banking fraud.
The Skelm campaign uses social media to get the public to share their experiences of being scammed in order to warn other people.
The South African Bank Risk Information Centre’s CEO, Kalyani Pillay, said: “You wouldn’t leave your house open, so you should be equally protective with your electronic devices such as cellphones and computers.”
Internet fraud also pushes banks to up their security game against fraudsters but, unfortunately, the customer is always the primary target for scams and these scams are getting increasingly sophisticated.
“As more bank users migrate to online banking, the risk of smartphones and handheld devices being undermined is getting worse. People must make sure they download antivirus apps onto their smart devices and PCs – from known app stores such as Google Play – before they even go on internet,” she said.
Banks also offer online customers specialised security software for free.
“The risk centre, on behalf of the banks, also works closely with police to make sure they work together to fight these crimes,” said Pillay.
Online security advice
- Make sure your smartphone or tablet computer has its “lock screen” security enabled with some sort of key like a pattern, password or fingerprint.
- Ignore all email attachments and free software from unknown sources and always keep your privacy settings on the highest level possible.
- Don’t save sensitive, personal information and or bank account details on your electronic devices.
- Only download apps from Google Play or the Apple Store – or those stores approved by your bank – and never from an email, SMS or message link.
-Use strong passwords. Try two words. Most passwords need numbers and symbols too. Make use of that and choose something you’ll remember. Better be safe than sorry!