Cybercrime numbers are on the rise and South Africans are not immune to this growing threat.
Some statistics are frightening. Banking app losses increased by more than 88% last year to an average loss of R14 253 by operation. Online banking losses increased by more than 44% last year to reach an average loss of R32 298 per transaction and nine malware attacks occur every second in South Africa.
“The increasing prevalence of cybercrime warrants proper insurance coverage so consumers can have peace of mind and if they are affected they can be protected,” said Jonathan Lindeque, Head of Business and Corporate Affairs. personal insurance at GIB Group, which offers personal cyber insurance.
Cybercrimes include the theft of funds resulting from hacking into a bank account (South African Android mobile phones were the second most targeted in the world for banking malware), payment cards or mobile wallets; identity theft; cyberextortion; Network security liability resulting from a cyber incident on computer systems (including IoT devices) that causes damage to third party systems and data; privacy and data breaches and cyberbullying.
Lindeque said the growth in cyberbullying is of great concern. The average age of a cyberbully is nine, and around 58% of victims do not tell a parent or teacher. Cyberbullying can lead to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, or feelings of worthlessness.
“We have included a trauma benefit for cyberbullying as a direct result of cyberbullying, cyberstalking, or posting of harmful material. Treatment of emotional trauma by a licensed professional is often required, but victims do not always have the financial resources to directly pay for therapy and therapy is not always covered by medical assistance, ”he said. he declares.
Where children are involved, additional unforeseen costs resulting directly from cyberbullying, cyberstalking, or posting harmful material may impose expenses on parents or guardians such as additional costs for tuition, school uniforms, and childcare. educational material if it is established by a licensed physician or psychologist that an insured child should be placed in an alternative school.
Identity theft is also a significant problem. Someone’s identity is stolen every two seconds.
GIB said there are several ways to protect yourself:
- Do not give out personal information such as passwords and PIN codes when asked by someone over the phone, fax or even email.
- When you destroy personal information, destroy or burn it.
- Don’t carry unnecessary personal information in your wallet or purse.
- Keep personal and financial documents safe and keep items such as passports locked up.
- Don’t write down PIN codes and passwords, and avoid obvious choices like birthdates and first names.
- Do not use internet cafes or unsecured Wi-Fi (in hotels, conference centers, etc.) to do your banking.
- Use strong passwords for all of your accounts.
- Change your passwords regularly and never share them with anyone else.
- Check all requests for personal information and only provide it when there is a legitimate reason to do so.
- Make sure a website is encrypted before using it for a financial transaction. Typically, you will see an image of a lock in the URL field, and the URL will contain “https”, which means it is secure.
- Teach your kids safe internet behavior, including how to spot potential scams and phishing scams.
- Immediately alert the SA Fraud Prevention Department on 0860 101 248 or safps.org.za if your identity documents are lost or stolen – sign up for credit monitoring and identity theft and obtain a case number from SAPS.
Read: This country has banned after-hours work messages – here’s what South African laws say