SAPS warns of online scams

Recently the Newcastle SAPS thought it necessary to issue a public warning about online scams after noting an increase in the number of incidents where individuals were paying for cars online and never receiving the vehicles. While you might think this is a “no-brainer”, there are some who clearly don’t think the same way.

You should never pay over any money for a vehicle until you have actually seen it, but there are those who are still caught out in this way. And it’s not just the purchase of vehicles where this happens. Many have been caught out paying for items online that they just never receive, ranging from a car to a gift or even an item of clothing. The risk is real and South African’s need to be more careful when transacting online.

Tips issued by the SAPS

In an attempt to help South Africans protect themselves, the SAP have issued a few tips as follows:

  • Be smart to phishing attempts. Know without a doubt that your bank or credit card company will never contact you by telephone or email to ask you to update your personal details. If you are requested to click a link to update details, you are putting yourself at risk. Your personal information can be collected and used for fraudulent activity. Online competitions are also a great way of phishing. If you have to complete forms with your personal particulars in order to win money or an impressive prize, you might become a victim of phishing.
  • Never share or write down your PIN, password or online ID as these can be stolen and used to carry out fraudulent purchases in your name.
  • Do not save your internet banking profile and password details on your computer, and try to avoid doing online banking on any public computers.
  • Make use of the limits on your cards and accounts. This can save you major financial losses should a criminal access your accounts.
  • Only transact with reputable companies online. If you find a product that is too good to be true, it usually is. Be careful.

Newcastle SAPS Corporate Communications Officer, Captain Jabulani Ncube urges all South African’s to be aware of the risks and to take the necessary safety precautions to avoid becoming part of the statistic.

5 Simple But Secure Password Tips to Remember

With hacking and malware viruses on the rise each year, your password security could not be more important. Without adequate password security you are putting your personal information at great risk, where it can be used in identity theft, the emptying of bank accounts and more!

Strong passwords used for business accounts are equally important. The last thing you need is to be held liable for the exposure of customer information or important business details.

Traditionally we have been told the best types of passwords are ones that include plenty of letters, numbers and symbols. We are also encouraged to have different passwords for each and every account. But who has the time for that – and more importantly, who can remember all that too?

Here are a few simple steps to creating robust password security without baffling your brain!

1. Basic Password Rules Apply

When creating a strong password, the fundamentals still apply:

  • don’t choose an obvious name or date
  • avoid using short, easily guessable words
  • always incorporate a variety of letters and numbers
  • try not to use the same password, for every account, rather interchange between two or three password variations.

2. Incorporate Random Words

When creating a strong, yet memorable password, you should start by picking three random words which are easy to remember and are associated with your life in some way e.g.: ‘my dog is black’.

Then, choose a date which is easy to recall. Put the words together and split the date up into two, placing one half on each end of the word: 20mydogisblack17.

To make it even more powerful, try capitalising each word and add a special character at the end, e.g.: 20MyDogIsBlack17!

3. Split up Your Numbers

If you’re more of a numbers person when it comes to crafting the ultimate password, it may be wise to split up your numbers in order to remember them better.

On average most people can only remember up to 7 digits at a time, so splitting up a long number with special characters or added zeros can help e.g.: 9712!0022!

4. Keep Things Simple with a Password Manager

If you have the challenge of using and remembering more than one password day in and day out, a password manager is your friend!This software can be installed on your PC in a matter of minutes, and keeps all your passwords safely encrypted at all times. The password manager then supplies them automatically to your web browser as and when you need.

There’s just one catch – and that is having to remember just one password in order to access your password manager!

5. Consider Two-Factor Authentication

This is a process where a second password is required when logging into a specific website. Two-factor authentication is generally a popular form of additional security used for banking profiles or similar.

The second password is sent to your cell phone, and will be different with each and every login. The only person who will then be able to access this account is the one that receives this secondary password, making access double secure.

Keep your personal and business information safe with these simple, yet effective password tricks! With the recent rise in cybercrime it’s important to keep your data protected and backed up. Find out what a good data package features and protect the integrity of your business and personal information.