What Exactly is Cybersecurity? 

Cybersecurity is any measure that is taken to protect a person, organisation or country and their personal or private information against crime or attacks carried out online. 

This is a huge point of conversation for the growing number of people opting for digital payment systems. Whether that is a mobile wallet or online banking, there are dangers lurking in those shadowy cyber corners.

We have been looking at some of the main security and privacy issues concerning recently surveyed users. Additionally, we have researched advice from experts as to how we can avoid becoming a victim of online fraud. 

According to a recent survey, 35% of participants from South Africa encountered phishing scams when using online banking or mobile wallets. Of those surveyed, 59% have experienced text or call scams and 43% have come across fake websites. 

A huge percentage of respondents in South Africa said that they are very aware of both phishing (94%) and online scams (95%) relating to digital payments. Banking malware is also high on the list with 78% of users being very mindful of this threat.

What do users want? 

98% of respondents identified that the greatest problem is awareness of the dangers they face online. There are several things that people want to see more of regarding security when it comes to their financial apps and mobile wallets.  

Returning the lowest number of votes is point-to-point encryption with 22%. Next was two-factor authentication at 51%. This is closely followed at 58% by automated detection and intervention of fraudulent transactions. Coming in second is facial or fingerprint recognition (Biometric security) with 75%. Lastly, the most important security feature for those surveyed is OTP’s (one-time passwords) at 76%.  One Time Passwords are a one-off 4-digit security code sent to your email or by SMS to your mobile phone. 

What can we do to stay safe?

Meanwhile, what can we as users do to make sure we are using our mobile wallets and online banking in as secure a manner as possible? Follow these six steps to secure your digital banking: 

  1. Use  antivirus software or mobile cybersecurity measures to help detect any potential threats before they become a problem. 
  2. Never share your PIN or passwords with anyone and preferably change them on a regular basis. 
  3. Do not share any financial information with anyone online of via SMS or the telephone. 
  4. Try to avoid using public internet access when making online transactions. 
  5. Stick to sites you know and trust. Always investigate before providing any sort of personal information or payment details. 
  6. Use a separate debit or credit card to make your online transactions to make it easier to keep track of your balance.

So, while there are dangers out there, there are also many ways to protect ourselves.