Take a walk on the safe side

The world is becoming increasingly more unsafe. It is vital to place your monetary assets in safe and reputable banking institutions that are registered with National Credit Regulator (NCR) found at this link www.ncr.org.za; however, we still need to be cautious, and take a walk on the financial safe side.

Are you able to spot if your finances are in danger? Have you ever found yourself trapped in uncomfortable situations such as while withdrawing money from an ATM, as an example? Being aware of the many dangers becomes beneficial in not only maintaining or controlling the state of your finances but also in shielding you from potential scammers, hackers or even theft.

If you are an e-commerce consumer that appreciates online convenience, you need to be as careful as possible as most fraud occurs when transacting over the Internet.

Security is key

It is important to ensure that the website is secure. Stick with trusted well-known retailers, which use reputable payment systems. The padlock on your browser signifies that the website is safe. This includes banking websites. It isn’t advised to follow an untrusted link to your online banking portal as this may be a scam. In fact when using the internet banking facility it is advised that you do not have any other browsers open or following any links. Instead type the URL in yourself and log out of your profile before continuing with any other browsing session. Beware of phishing scams that ask you to verify your personal information, rather call your credit provider before replying with any personal information.

Masters of disguise

If you’re also using a wireless network ensure that it is secure. Lock your router in order to prevent hackers from gaining access to anything you do over a network that has not been encrypted. Be aware of spam/junk email. Some messages may contain viruses known as Trojan horses that collect information from your computer and send it back to identity thieves. Do not open these emails or even better, install spam filtering software and keep your data safe.

 

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Cloud’s the limit

When it comes to the storing of information online be alert and only use secure platforms for sensitive and personal information. Online calendars may be useful but they may not be protected, leaving your information in the hands of scammers.

Putting yourself out there

The above also applies when making use of public computers. Always ensure not to leave your private information on devices that are used by the public, such as Internet cafes. Avoid leaving your private information in the hands of strangers, who may not always have the best intentions. Log out from your accounts and don’t save your login information – always delete any information that may put your financial and personal life in jeopardy.

Maximum security

Also, when making use of online platforms it is advised to make use of optional security questions. Choose one that would not be known by a third party in order to maximise the security of your account.

Never use the same password

Often security violations aren’t even breached at the website where the data got stolen. Hackers phished usernames and passwords from other sites, then guessed that they would also work at other places. If you’re using the same password for Facebook as you are for your online banking, then you are doing things incorrectly.

Be aware of the spy

Update your anti-virus or spyware regularly and perform regular scans. The less viruses you’re exposed to the less threats you face.

Red alert

Dangers are not only left to the Internet. You may be prone to theft even at the ATM or at a store’s point of sales. Take note of the following precautionary measures and enjoy stress-free transactions:

  • Never let your card out of your sight
  • Ensure that you receive it back after you make your payment
  • Do not reveal your PIN to anyone or let them see as you key in the numbers; not even bank staff
  • Always place your hand over the keypad when entering your pin
  • Keep your slip as proof of transaction even in the event that it was declined
  • Never accept assistance from strangers and especially when it involves your PIN
  • Do not withdraw money if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable at that location
  • Cancel your card immediately if it has been swallowed or you suspect fraud
  • If the ATM screen is blank do not withdraw money
  • Never force your card in an ATM slot
  • Do not become distracted while making a transaction
  • Stand close to the ATM and if someone moves too close to you, press cancel and your card will be returned; do not continue withdrawing the money
  • Ensure the card that comes out is yours
  • Report lost cards immediately

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SOS

In case of an emergency involving a lost or stolen card, ensure that you have your banking institution’s number readily available, and report any lost or stolen cards immediately in order to receive help from your service provider.

 

Standard Bank – 0800 020 600

First National Bank – 0800 110 132

Nedbank – 0800 110 929 

Absa – 0800 111 155 

Capitec – 0860 102 043

 

Global trotting

If you will be travelling abroad it is advised to alert your bank in order for them to continue monitoring any suspicious activity on your card on your behalf. Be aware of the provisions of your service provider in the case of fraudulent activity and make sure that you and your finances are always protected.

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