Stay cyber secure this holiday

The past has shown that the festive season is also fraud season, and every year people fall victim to ATM fraud, phishing, card fraud, and other cyber-attacks. “During the holidays people tend to be a bit more carefree – and fraudsters know this – just as they know that many receive their annual bonuses at this time. Let us be careful this holiday and ensure”, says Holger Bossow, FNB IT Risk Manager.

Use passwords wisely – Make sure you’re using strong passwords to lock your devices and online accounts, and resist the urge to select the “Keep me logged in” option in your web browser.

Protect yourself against identity theft

Keen on sharing your identity with a criminal? If not, guard against identity theft by disposing of sensitive paperwork safely, enabling SMS alerts on your bank account activities and take other important steps to protect yourself against this scourge.

Tighten up your social media settings – We know that it’s fun to share your holiday snaps online, but this is often where criminals can gain most of your personal information. Make sure you lock down your security and privacy settings to avoid data breaches.

Watch out for phishing – Criminals often use email, SMS or other means to send you unsolicited messages asking for personal or sensitive information. Be suspicious and check whether it’s a phishing attempt. The bank will never call or email you to ‘verify’ or disclose your banking details

Protect yourself when using public facilities – When using public computers, ensure that you take precautions to protect your privacy. Try not to conduct online banking on public computers as malware such as malicious key loggers, website redirection and many others might be actively stealing your information.

Dispose of your device properly – Upgrading your phone? Selling your laptop or tablet? Before you do, make sure you log out of all accounts, clear all passwords and remove all your data from it by doing a factory reset. And if you’ll be disposing of a sim card, destroy it before throwing it away.

Use Wi-Fi carefully – Everybody loves free Wi-Fi – especially cyber thieves, who can use it to gain unauthorised access to your device. If you’re using public wireless signals, protect yourself by enabling built-in safety features, using a VPN and applying other safety measures.

Change your Bluetooth PIN – If you need to use a Bluetooth device in public (such as a headset), don’t leave the default security PIN as is. Change it to a more secure code that an attacker would have difficulty guessing.

Exercise caution with USBs – Although it’s easy to get things wirelessly nowadays, physical media – like flash drives – are still useful for large file transfers like photos and videos. But don’t just plug a USB device into your computer unless you’re sure that it’s virus-free. Even if you trust the device, as soon as you plug it into your computer, run a virus scan on it.

Cover the basics – Beneath all of this, remember to always keep your operating system patches and anti-virus program up to date, as these can catch viruses even if you slip up.