By Nico Strydom
The increasing use of mobile devices and social media makes it all the easier for cyber criminals to target people.
“People also make it easier for cyber criminals all the time to steal their personal information, identities and money by sharing too much information online,” says Charl Ueckermann, head of AVeS Cyber Security.
“Information is plentiful and the personal information of anybody with an online presence or money in the bank is tempting to cyber criminals, who use social-media platforms to spy on people. If the wrong people get hold of your personal information it can be used against you.”
According to Ueckermann people easily share something in the public domain, which means anybody can see it. “This means anybody can see where you were, what your interests are, who your fiends are, where you work, your contact details, what you look like, and much more. This type of information is very valuable to cyber criminals because it becomes easier for them to steal your identity.”
How can I protect my information?
According to Ueckermann any personal information that can identify you, must be private and shared with circumspection. This includes contact numbers, ID numbers, home addresses and email addresses.
“Start by checking your privacy settings on social-media platforms and make sure that only your friends and contacts have access to what you are sharing. Make sure that you know the people who you admit to your social-media platform.”
It is also important to be careful with what you share on social media. Ueckermann says it is essential to think first before you share. “How could the information be used against you if it lands in the wrong hands? The less you share in public, the better.”
Social-media applications must be updated all the time to make sure that you are using the latest version. “Use other verification instruments too and not only user names and passwords. Passwords must be complicated with a mixture of capital letters, lower-case letters, numbers and symbols. Never use the same password on a number of platforms.”
According to Ueckermann users should also install software for internet security on devices used for internet access. “Make sure that this software is regularly upgraded to protect your devices against intruders.”
Always be careful when you have to provide bank details online. “Always make sure that the URL at the top of the page starts with https. The ‘s’ means that the website is secure. Do not provide details if the website is not safe.”
According to Ueckermann common sense should always prevail. “Always think of it like this: ‘Would I mind if a bank robber or a swindler sees this information?’ It is your responsibility to protect your personal information.”
AVeS Cyber Security https://aves.co.za/