Cyber deception is on the rise, caused by more and more Internet users banking, shopping and transacting online. It’s critical that every person using the Internet, or any connected device, to complete personal tasks makes an effort to learn more about doing so safely. This is why we at Bidvest Insurance have heavily invested into researching your vulnerabilities, and designing a product to protect you as a user of connected devices.
Our Cyber Rescue product is a personal cyber insurance product which covers and helps you in times of financial stress as a result of cyber attacks. One of the many benefits of getting Cyber Rescue from Bidvest Insurance is cover for cyber deception. This article is here to help you understand what cyber deception means, how it works and why getting covered is a smart and responsible move.
What is cyber deception?
Bidvest Insurance defines cyber deception as an event where you have fallen victim to a form of trickery, or have been misled. This event then results in the unauthorised loss of funds from your bank account, or even the act of a stranger making purchases through your online shopping accounts, or by using your compromised personal information.
Examples of cyber deception:
Con artists are always learning new tricks, especially ones that they can use online. It’s important for you to keep checking our blog for new articles so that you can always prepare and protect yourself against them. Examples of cyber deception include:
- Someone making contact with you through a connected device, impersonating your bank or a local authority (like a police officer), to ask you for your personal information.
- A person or a bot that has hacked into your social media profiles, and uses the names of your family or close contacts (harvested from your social media accounts) to trick you into sending money for an emergency that hasn’t really happened.
Who’s vulnerable to cyber deception?
In reality, everyone is vulnerable. It takes one moment of poor concentration to let your guard down and unknowingly open the door for hackers or scammers, digitally speaking. The most vulnerable people, though, are people who start to use connected devices for tasks like online banking or shopping, booking appointments or making restaurant reservations – all without going through a formal education experience on how to do this safely.
Is cyber deception a problem in South Africa?
In South Africa, the vast majority of our country’s citizens are vulnerable to cyber deception. Our literacy and computer literacy skills are limited, in general, when compared to countries in the north, like the United States of America. It’s a mix of resource availability issues and interest in learning how to use connected devices safely.
Too many people take shortcuts today, or work on assumptions and end up falling victim to preventable situations. This is why we’re proud to offer a product that really covers people for the kind of threats that are now evolving in the digital age. It’s also why we’re devoting more of our resources to share these educational articles with you.
Which South African laws confront cyber deception?
Cyber deception is a kind of cyber threat, and although there are a few laws that are being expanded, it could still be a long time before every type of cyber deception is fully covered by law. South Africa’s presently evolving Cybercrimes Bill is still in its early stages of development, as far as the full scope and depth of impact from cyber attacks are concerned – yet another reason it’s useful to consider getting covered through Bidvest Insurance Cyber Rescue.
Does POPIA protect you from cyber deception?
The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) is a hot topic for a lot of South African businesses right now. While the law is in full effect, and is being enforced, of course there are cyber criminals who don’t see that as a reason to stop committing cyber crime, cyber deception included. It takes a detailed investigation to confirm that cyber deception has occurred, in some cases, so always make sure that you report suspicious activity on your devices, to prevent the worst.
POPIA is designed to protect your personal information up to a certain point, but always remember that you do have a choice in where, when and how you give out your information. If you absolutely need to do so online, make sure you have antivirus software installed on the device/s you use.
Is it possible to prevent cyber deception?
Yes. It just requires some rules about the way you use your connected device/s. Here are our tips on preventing cyber deception:
- Don’t open suspicious emails. If you don’t recognise the sender, subject line or preview text (the snippet that shows just after the subject line, before you open the email), mark it as spam. If your response is required, a legitimate business will likely also contact you by telephone to let you know about it.
- Don’t answer phone calls from unknown or suspicious numbers. There are several mobile apps that you can download to screen your incoming calls. Usually, numbers reported as spam will show up as spam callers and you don’t need to answer at all. If your response or input is required, a legitimate business/person will text you or email you as well, or leave a voice message that you can listen to later.
- Don’t click on links in SMS messages if you aren’t expecting one, or if the message doesn’t relate to anything you’ve done, like filling out a form on an unknown website.
- Don’t ever give out your banking details, usernames or passwords without being able to confirm who you’re talking to. If you’re asked to confirm this information, you can either request that the agent confirm the details for you to verify them, or ask about going in to the nearest bank branch for safe verification of your details.
How does Bidvest Insurance Cyber Rescue help?
If you decide to get cover, you’ll be able to submit up to two claims each year, to claim from your cyber deception benefit. Up to two thousand rand is paid out per claim, in the event that cyber deception is found to have occurred. This works hand in hand with the device restoration benefit as well.
In addition to the above, you also get access to an IT Helpline so that you can ask questions and take more steps toward using the Internet safely. There’s an antivirus software licence that comes with your Cyber Rescue subscription, too, to protect your personal devices.