Safety online, offline and all the time

17 February 2020 | Banking

The last thing you want to think about is someone taking your phone or wallet or gaining access to your personal information. Unfortunately fraudsters know people tend to let down their guard or get easily distracted, and that is often how they choose their victims.
Here FNB Communication Manager Elzita Beukes shares a few helpful tips to keep you safe online, offline and all the times:
• Confirm the validity. “Don’t just reply when asked for sensitive personal information. Did your BFF just WhatsApp you to ask you to eWallet some cash? Give them a call to check if it’s really them, and not a fraudster who has gained access to your friend’s phone,” Beukes says. Also remember that a bank will never ask you to confirm confidential information over the phone. “We have seen a sharp increase in messaging and phone call scam incidents, where criminals phone bank customers pretending to be from the bank (or other service providers) and coerce them into disclosing their sensitive info.”
• Avoid lonesome ATMs and don’t transact on ‘pilot mode’. “That quiet ATM in the parking lot is not the best place to draw cash. If you have no choice, make use of cardless withdrawals, or rather withdraw cash at the till points of one of our partners,” Beukes advises. Focus on what you are doing and be alert of your surroundings. Follow the instructions on the ATM screen carefully. Make sure you understand the screen before entering your PIN, as it could be in “cardless transaction” mode, in which case the screen is awaiting confirmation of a mobile number and will reveal your PIN when you type it on the screen.
• Keep your devices and wallets out of sight. “Don’t be an easy target when you go out for a meal. At restaurants we tend to keep our phones or wallets on the table where we can see them – but so can criminals. Don’t carry personal information in your wallet, and never keep notes of PINs or passwords (digital or in writing).”
• You love free Wi-Fi – so do they. Open Wi-Fi networks at malls and other public spaces may seem awesome – but not for your privacy. “By accessing an open Wi-Fi network, you’re giving that network potential access to your whole device and everything on it. Only use trusted and secure Wi-Fi connections,” Beukes concludes.

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