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Body Unpolitic - Part 31

By Dishonourable Ember
Imagine you are already on holiday at your choice of destination and you want to withdraw some additional funds to cover necessary purchases ...and the ATM tells you that you have no money! You are broke! As broke as most of us usually would be towards the end of January when we return to work and the kids to school!
How did that happen?
Easy - you have become a victim of Cyber Criminals! Cyber Crime encompasses any criminal act dealing with computers and networks (called hacking). Additionally, cyber crime also includes traditional crimes conducted through the Internet. For example; hate crimes, telemarketing and Internet fraud, identity theft, and credit card account thefts are considered to be cyber crimes when the illegal activities are committed through the use of a computer and the Internet.


Kaspersky has revealed details about a serious threat to online banking. The Trojan known as Neverquest is said by its creators to be capable of breaking into "any bank in any country".

It has already managed to bypass standard security precautions put in place by banks including safeguards against web injection, remote system access and social engineering. So, what can you do to protect yourself against this threat? Here are seven ways consumers can protect themselves.

1. Maintain a clean machine.

Keep any device connected to the Internet free of malware infections. Make sure you're running up-to-date security software, operating systems and applications-important, because application updates often include security advances.

2. Have long, strong, unique passwords.

Create a password you can remember but that's difficult for others to guess. Lock your mobile devices and tablets. Thirty percent to half of users have not enabled a password or PIN on their mobile devices.

3. Avoid social engineering.

When in doubt, throw it out. An antenna should go up if a pop-up threatens you to act immediately or else. Do not click!

4. Censor yourself on social networks.

How much of your data is public? What do you post about yourself-location, habits, plans? Disclosing where you're taking your vacation or turning on the tracker enables identity theft.

In addition, be mindful of what you post online about others. We sit on vast amounts of data concerning family, friends and colleagues. Be a good steward of that information.

5. Use secure websites.

There are simple ways to ensure that a website is secure. Make sure the URL begins with "https," as such sites encrypt log-in information before sending it to the server, thus keeping it safe from hackers. You also can check for an icon that looks like a lock somewhere in the browser window.

6. Back up your files.

Ransomware-a malware that places restrictions on a computer that can be lifted only when payment is made-is one of the latest developments in hacking. For example, CryptoLocker scrambles files with essentially unbreakable encryption and demands a ransom to retrieve them.

Backing up files on an external hard drive will help keep them safe, even if those on a computer are deleted

7. Isolate financials.

The best way to ensure that online accounts are safe is to have a separate computer that's used only for banking. An alternative for the average person is to ask about which security services your bank offers, such as multifactor authentication. Many of the same principles apply to mobile phones. So as to not run the risk of a cyber attack when using your tablet computers or iPhone, or smartphone, you need to reinforce your protection. Safety is not a privilege, it is a right and you can use the following recommendations to protect yourself:

- Keep your mobile phone safe and secure by using mobile anti-virus software to protect your personal data. It is the best way and one of the most important thing.

- Regularly update your operating system for security patches.

- When you enter website (especially financial) make sure that "https" appears in the address bar, which means connection is secure.

- Make sure that you always choose a mobile from a recognized brand, which come with IMEI number (International Mobile Equipment Identity).

- Turn the Bluetooth function off after using it. It is another way through which unknown applications or viruses can make way into your cell phone.

- Don't give any information by email and do not open unknown links.

- Avoid downloading unknown software from the Internet.

- Use password to protect your device, usually it helps to prevent the use of data stored in your phone.

- Don't connect to unprotected WiFi access points.

- Don't forget to log out of websites, especially financial.

- Make backup of the data on your mobile from time to time. You can do it by yourself or ask for help your cell phone service provider.

And the last advice sounds a bit funny but it makes a lot of sense. Do not let a stranger touch your cell phone even for few minutes. If that stranger is a hacker then in trouble. The stranger (hacker) can install spyware in your cell phone in few minutes. And the worst thing is - you will not even notice if the virus is already installed or not.

Now you have the advice. Heed it and you can be reasonably sure that your money is protected from all but you, your family and the kids!

Have a good holiday!


SWAPO Headquarters Mandume Strt
Windhoek, Katutura