Digital Payments: Survey Reveals 35% South Africans Faced Phishing Scams

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According to the Kaspersky Digital Payment survey, 35% of respondents from South Africa faced phishing scams when using online banking or mobile wallet services. 43% have personally encountered fake websites, and 59% experienced scams (via texts or calls) using social engineering.

When asked about awareness of threats against digital payment methods, the majority of respondents from South Africa report that they are aware of both financial phishing attacks (94%) and online scams (95%). 78% also stated that they are informed about banking malware on PCs and on mobile. This type of malicious software steals money from users’ bank accounts.

However, 98% think that banks and payment companies should educate users more about the threats online. When it comes to a list of security features that consumers would like to see more on existing banking apps and mobile wallets, according to the survey results, here’s what matters most to them:

  • The implementation of one-time-passwords (OTPs) via SMS for every transaction (76%)
  • Biometric security features like facial or fingerprint recognition (75%)
  • Automated detection and intervention for fraudulent transactions (58%)
  • Requiring two-factor authentication (51%)
  • Point-to-point encryption (22%)

“Whether we talk about the proliferation of phishing scams or mobile malware, it is important to establish some basic cybersecurity standards,” said James Gumede, SADC Territory Account Manager at Kaspersky.

“Advanced security solutions, which are able to filter out most of the generic attack vectors, supplemented with other preventive measures such as good cybersecurity awareness and regular password changes, can help to keep your financial transactions secure,” he added.

To help users in South Africa embrace digital payment technologies securely, Kaspersky experts suggest the following:

  • Do not share your PIN, password, or any other financial information with anyone online or offline.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi to make any online transactions.
  • Use a separate credit or debit card to make online transactions. Set a spending limit on the card which can help keep a track of financial transactions.
  • Shop from trusted and official websites.
  • Use a reliable security solution such as Kaspersky Total Security on all your devices which are used for financial transactions. It helps to detect fraudulent or suspicious activity and check the security of visited websites.

For developers, banks and companies involved in providing digital payment services, Kaspersky recommends:

  • Invest in holistic cybersecurity solutions that can help detect fraud across multiple levels of online payment processes and consumer touchpoints.
  • Advanced attacks by APT groups on financial institutions are also on a rise. In-depth visibility and threat intelligence are a necessity to keep customers protected and to ensure business continuity. Using the Kaspersky Threat Intelligence service is helpful to support your IT teams in analysing and mitigating threats.
  • Conduct cyber awareness training for employees continuously. This will help employees know the red flags to look for when an organisation is under attack and understand their role in protecting the organisation.

Edited by Zintle Nkohla 

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