The issue of fraudulent activity in South Africa isn’t a small one and there’s no doubt that it is increasing. The recent 2018 Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey conducted by PwC South Africa, has delved into the issue and uncovered that the global average rate of reported economic crime is listed as 49%. And in the case of South Africa? We’re sitting at 77%, making us the country with the highest instances of economic crime in the world.


So, with statistics this shocking, how do you safeguard yourself?

Protecting yourself against online crime is crucial – especially to avoid loss of personal information and fraudulent signing in your name – but just how should we be doing this? Marthinus Fourie, Managing Director of bsmart, outlines three easy ways to help you protect yourself from cyber criminals.


 1. If it’s personal, keep it personal

Wherever possible, don’t hand out your personal information over the phone, via email or on the Internet. Take the time to learn about who you’re dealing with and ensure that they are legitimate and that the site you’re using is secure and safe to use.


 2. Protect yourself as best you can

Install an ad blocker onto your desktop browser extension. This will block and protect you from suspicious activity. Another thing you can do is to check the URL of the page: if it begins with https or there is a small padlock in the address bar, then you're on a secure site.


 3. Make passwords complex

Is your password, “password”? How about “12345” or “00000”? Simply keeping the default password or using one that is relatively easy to hack, will make you more vulnerable. When you create a password it should use numbers, symbols and letters as this makes it more challenging for a potential criminal to access.


While the issue of crime and fraud is on the rise, more and more businesses and organisations are providing online users with information to safeguard them from these attacks. If everyone is proactive and takes the necessary security steps to protect themselves, then their personal information will be safe from criminals.


Disclaimer: bsmart does not provide financial advice. The above article is for information purposes only, to share current economic and financial topics and trends. Please consult a suitable and qualified financial services provider if you require financial advice.