Protect yourself online, as you would in your property
Fortunately, cyber crime in Zambia is still relatively low. However, It is important to understand that unlike physical crime, cyber crime is not restricted by geography. A cyber attack can be coordinated, and your identity stolen, from the other side of the world. Don’t ever say “It won’t happen to me”, as this is what allows cyber criminals to pounce. These simple steps will help you safeguard yourself online.
Hold multiple passwords for different devices
This can get confusing trying to remember all these passwords but its essential to mix things up. Should one of your accounts be compromised, hackers will try the same password across all your online logins. To prevent yourself from becoming to familiar with the ‘forgotten your password’ button, download one of many free phone applications which can store all your passwords in one place using one master passcode. These apps often hold a higher level on encryption than standard web servers and when on a locked phone, offer a double security barrier.
Watch out for ‘fishing’ emails
Always be careful when clicking on links or attachments in email. If it’s unexpected or suspicious for any reason, don’t click on it. Hover over any links to reveal where the link is really trying to take you. It may say ‘click here to very your account password’ for a well-known bank, however the link may take you to a fake website designed to steal your information.
Back up your data and ensure you have anti-virus
Back up your data regularly and make sure your anti-virus software is always up to date. Antivirus can sometimes seem an expensive purchase, but it will save you in the long run. Also be careful of what you plug in to your computer. Malware can be spread through flash drives, external hard drives and even smartphones.
Be smart about what you are posting on social media
The rule we would advise you follow is ‘don’t post anything online that you wouldn't announce or show in a crowded room of strangers’. Watch what you’re sharing on social networks. Criminals can befriend you and easily gain access to a huge amount of information on your personal life. All this information can be used to either steal your identity of blackmail you.
Keep a watchful eye over your tech
Never leave your devices unattended. If you need to leave your computer, phone, or tablet for any length of time, be sure to lock it up so no one can use it while you’re gone.
It's not just while online…
When not online, be wary of social engineering. This is where someone tries to gain information from you through manipulation. It comes in many forms but a common one to watch out for is if someone calls or emails you asking for private information. Remember, it’s okay to say no. You can always ask for that person’s name, then find the company number online and call them back.