With the increase of cybercrime worldwide, the issue of cyber security has moved from the server room to the board room in many local businesses, and the banking sector is no different.
It is with this in mind that the industry is currently embarking on a national campaign to encourage bank customers to take great care of their cybersecurity. ‘Skelm’ is an old English word, widely used by South Africans of all cultures to describe sinister rascals. It is also the inspiration behind the campaign, which aims to empower South Africans to protect themselves against banking fraud.
The campaign will provide various platforms on social media for the public to share their own experiences of being scammed in order to empower one another. The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) CEO, Kalyani Pillay has emphasised the importance of bank customers protecting the devices which they bank with. “You wouldn’t leave your house open, so you should be equally protective with your electronic devices”, she said.
The managing and protecting of electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets and PCs is crucial to ensuring that the scourge of cybercrime is minimized. Banks are constantly enhancing their platforms and products to ensure that their customers are not easily duped by criminals and to mitigate against the risk of cybercrime, however, it is important that the consumer is also empowered in avoiding compromising their cybersecurity.
While banks continuously provide cyber security messages and advice, criminals are also devising new ways to steal from customers. “As more bank consumers migrate to online banking platforms, the risk of smart phones and handheld devices being compromised has also amplified. Consumers need to ensure that anti-virus software is downloaded onto their smart devices as well as their PCs before they access their online banking profiles.
Software is made available by most banking institutions and can be accessed on their websites for free download by customers” explained Pillay.
Whilst new technologies such as apps and wifi spots have made banking easily accessible to the public, they also carry certain risks. Consumers must be aware of these risks and take steps to safeguard themselves.
“SABRIC on behalf of the banks also works closely with law enforcement to ensure a collaborative approach to fight these crimes,” said Pillay
To protect themselves consumers are encouraged to follow the tips:
· Secure your smartphone enabling the lock screen and security function, be it a pattern password or fingerprint screen lock
· Where possible don’t save any sensitive personal information and bank account details on your electronic devices
· Think before you download apps to your mobile or tablet devices
· Do not bypass built in security measures by ‘rooting’ your device
· Download and install the security software provided by your bank (e.g. Trusteer)
· Disable any wireless connection settings (e.g. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and NFC) when you’re not using it
· Disable your push notification settings on mobile devices if not needed
· Use strong passwords for all your accounts and change them regularly and never share them with anyone else
· Be wary of email attachments and free software from unknown sources
· Always set the privacy settings on your social media profile to the highest level possible