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How to stay safe from digital fraud

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As the festive season draws near, consumers must familiarise themselves with tips on how they can protect themselves against digital banking fraud, says KOVELIN NAIDOO, Chief Cyber Security Officer at FNB.

Here are some tips to stay safe this year.

  • Never save usernames, passwords or PINs on your cellphone or computer as it may allow others to access your banking without your permission.
  • Always do internet banking on a secure computer that you regularly use at home or work. Never do Online Banking in public areas such as Internet Cafe’s or shared computers, as you can never know what software is loaded that may compromise your transactions.
  • Log on to your bank’s website by typing in the web address yourself instead of accessing it via Google search as this may lead you to a spoofed site.
  • Never open suspicious or unfamiliar e-mails or attachments, and never click on links in emails or SMS’s. Criminals make emails and SMS look legitimate and often bait you with scare tactics to confirm your account details or to login to prevent your account from being closed. They even incentive you to win something or get something for free in order to get access to your account.
  • Always keep your PIN and password secure. If you think your PIN or password has been compromised, change it immediately either on the FNB App, Online banking or at your nearest ATM or branch.
  • Remember to change your passwords and PIN’s regularly.
  • Only make online purchases with your card on reputable websites that are verified as secure sites (look for the lock icon in your browser and ensure that the address starts with https://).
  • Never use the same username and password for banking as you use on other apps and websites like social media and email.
  • Download the FNB App to keep track of your accounts and transactions and have additional security with you 24/7. From a security point of view you can approve legitimate transactions and stop fraudulent Online Banking transactions, report fraud for any suspicious transactions, and temporarily block or cancel your cards.
  • Download free Trend Antivirus and Antimalware for your computer and/or smartphone. Login to FNB Online Banking and click the link at the bottom of the screen to download and activate your free antivirus and antimalware.
  • Update your smartphone and computer with the latest software and app updates.
  • Monitor your cellphone reception. If you have lost signal for an unusually long time, you may be a victim of sim swop fraud. Immediately contact FNB’s 24/7 Fraud Line on 087 575 9444 to report a suspected Sim Swop.
  • Criminals may sometimes call you and pretend to be from your bank, service provider or a reputable retailer. During this conversation they may ask you to verify personal and banking information or download software for them to “assist” you. It will be safer for you to hang up and call the company directly to verify if the call is legitimate.
  • FNB customers travelling are advised to download the FNB Banking App and use Smart InContact to approve transactions.

Smart InContact, which allows customers to receive secure Online Banking transaction approvals on the FNB Banking App does not rely on SMS or email technology which could be intercepted by fraudsters. Smart inContact also notifies customers of all transactions, as low as one cent, with full control to report fraud with 1-touch of the Report Fraud button to the 24/7 FNB Fraud line. The app also works with Online Banking to verify devices that the customer uses to transact on his/her profile. Only verified devices with the app installed receive Smart inContact transaction approvals.

Taking the necessary measures to protect yourself against online banking fraud can give you peace of mind knowing that you can have a stress free festive season with your loved ones.

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Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults

An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.

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Buy 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.

These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.

Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:

  • The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
  • The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
  • The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
  • The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
  • The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
  • The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.

The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been. 

“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured.  The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.

“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’. 

“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves.  Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).  

“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”

For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.

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Pizoelectrics: Healthcare’s new gymnasts of gadgetry

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Healthcare electronics is rapidly deploying for wellness, electroceuticals, and intrusive medical procedures, among other, powered by new technologies. Much of it is trending to diagnostics and treatment on the move, and removing the need for the patient to perform procedures on time. 

Instruments become wearables, including electronic skin patches and implants. The IDTechEx Research report, “Piezoelectric Harvesting and Sensing for Healthcare 2019-2029”, notes that sensors should preferably be self-powered, non-poisonous even on disposal, and many need to be biocompatible and even biodegradable. 

We need to detect biology, vibration, force, acceleration, stress and linear movement and do imaging. Devices must reject bacteria and be useful in wearables and Internet of Things nodes. Preferably we must move to one device performing multiple tasks. 

So is there a gymnast material category that has that awesome versatility? 

Piezoelectrics has a good claim. It measures all those parameters. That even includes biosensors where the piezo senses the swelling of a biomolecule recognizing a target analyte. The most important form of self-powered (one material, two functions) piezo sensing is ultrasound imaging, a market growing at 5.1% yearly. 

The IDTechEx Research report looks at what comes next, based on global travel and interviewing by its PhD level analysts in 2018 with continuous updates.  

Click here to read how Piezo has been reinvented.

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