Is Cybercrime on the rise in South Africa?

Athol Wesselink, Chief Technical Engineer at OpenWeb. (Image Source: OpenWeb).

The recent announcement by the National Protection Authority of South Africa (NPA) revealed that 177  cybercrime cases had been finalised in the past year, and has highlighted the need for individuals to make sure that they are adequately protected from hackers.

This is according to Athol Wesselink, Chief Technical Engineer at OpenWeb – a nationwide internet service provider, who says that consumers must take preventative measures to ensure that their protection infrastructure makes hacking into their personal online platforms a laborious task for cyber-criminals.

“While advanced cyber-criminals are usually able to hack into any account or system they set their sights on, individuals can mitigate the risk by ensuring that their systems and accounts are as well protected as possible and are therefore a less attractive option for hackers.”

Wesselink explains that the ‘hacking industry’ evolves at the same rapid rate as developments in the technology industry, which means that internet users cannot rely on out-dated infrastructure for protection.

Wesselink says that 419 scams are tricks that offer the victim a significant amount of money or a loan in exchange for a small upfront fee or for personal details. “The victim is usually contacted with a ‘call to action’, such as an email encouraging him/her to follow a link to a website where personal information (such as credit card details, a physical address, ID number, contact details and the names of family members) or an online payment is requested. In most cases, when a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is and browsers must refrain from engaging with the platform.”Read more