by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH African consumers have been urged to be wary of cyber criminals likely to make the most of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping frenzy.
Consumers must particularly be careful when transacting at a point of sale or online.
According to experts, with technology being at the forefront of everything lately, thousands of consumers were opting for online shopping to avoid long queues at malls.
Online shopping is one of the fastest-growing retail platforms in South Africa, exposing consumers to cyber criminals.
“We urge consumers to remain vigilant of scammers who are looking to steal your money and personal details in the real world and the virtual world,” said Ethel Nyembe, Head of Card Issuing South Africa at Standard Bank.
According to a South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), fraud incidents across online and mobile banking apps increased by 75,3 percent in 2018 alone.
Nyembe said Black Friday was known to be one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year and like the festive season, is busy time for criminals.
She thus urged consumers to take extra precautions to protect their purchases and personal information.
“If something seems suspicious, it probably is, so stay away from it,” Nyembe said.
F5 Networks warned of the prevalence of denial of service (DoS) attacks, ransomware campaigns, form jacking and phishing around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
David Warburton, Principal Threat Evangelist at F5 Networks, said retailers needed to protect both operations and customers.
IBM’s 2019 Cost of a Data Breach Report revealed that the global average, per-record cost of a retail breach is US$119 (R1756.44), up 1,7 percent year-on-year.
Locally, the cost of a breach has increased by 12,16 percent to R43,3 million ($2,9 million).
“It is going to get noisy out there. Bargains will be had. Retail records will fall. Data will be stolen, and reputations will be dented,” Warburton said of Friday Black Friday and Cyber Monder.
Warburton added, “Distractions are everywhere. We all need to do our bit to pre-empt and snuff out cybercriminals’ inevitable seasonal enthusiasm.”
Black Friday is an informal name for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States but has gained popularity in South Africa. It is celebrated on the fourth Friday of November.
Cyber Monday is a marketing term for the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday.
– CAJ News