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Cyber criminals lurking ahead of Xmas season

JOHANNESBURG – AMID the rise in cyber criminality and an increase in online purchases, the South African public must be vigilant this festive season.

“The holiday season is one of the special occasions in the year when we see cybercriminal activities amplified,” said Emad Haffar, Head of Technical Experts at Kaspersky.

“Since every action has an equal reaction, our increased online activities around this time attracts the attention of cybercriminals lurking on the internet,” the official added.

The fraudsters are quick to take advantage of people’s excitement and go to great lengths such as creating fake websites to bait consumers into sharing valuable data.

“Because cybercriminals make it hard to distinguish between what is real and a hoax, it’s best to stay vigilant and always be careful when sharing personal or financial information online,” Haffar added.

According to the Kaspersky Digital Payment survey, 35 percent of respondents from South Africa faced phishing scams when using online banking or mobile wallet services.

Some 35 percent have personally encountered fake websites, and 59 percent scams (via texts or calls) using social engineering.

When asked about awareness of threats against digital payment methods, 95 percent of respondents reported that they are aware of online scams.

Kaspersky solutions blocked 311 366 financial phishing attacks aimed at South African organisations in the first half of the year.

The public has been advised against visiting shopping websites from links in e-mails, social media messages and chat rooms.

They must avoid public Wi-Fi for shopping and never create passwords for websites that are easy to guess.

– CAJ Ne

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