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13 tips to keep safe from banking fraud

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As the festive season draws near, cybercriminals will pull out all the tricks to try and cheat consumers out of their cash. YOLANDE STEYN, Head of Innovation at FNB, offers some tips to stay safe online.

“Cybercrime is becoming increasingly sophisticated with fraudsters constantly finding new ways of carrying out their unlawful conduct, especially during busy periods like the festive season. Consumers should therefore be extra vigilant with their banking information and login details at all times,” says Yolande Steyn, Head of Innovation at FNB.

While the rapid growth of technology presents us with boundless opportunities, it also requires vigilance to prevent consumers and business being vulnerable to cybercrime. “As a responsible financial services provider, we have, therefore, taken upon ourselves the obligation to constantly educate and inform consumers about the many ways that fraudsters use the internet to try and rip them off,” adds Steyn.

She shares the following tips on how consumers can protect themselves against digital banking fraud this festive season:

·            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.

·            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.

·            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.

·            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.

·            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.

·            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.

·            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. It will be safer for you to hang up and call the company directly to verify if the call is legitimate.

·            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 save usernames, passwords or PINs on your cellphone or computer as it may allow others to access your banking without your permission.

Although the above tips are by no means conclusive, they will go a long to ensure that consumers keep their money safe over the festive period. “We urge our customers to familiarise themselves with the content of our security pages which can be located in the security centre on the FNB website,” says Steyn.

“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,” she says.

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Android Go puts reliable smartphones in budget pockets

Nokia, Vodacom and Huawei have all launched entry-level smartphones running the Android Go edition, and all deliver a smooth experience, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Three new and notable Android Go smartphones have recently hit the market, namely the Nokia 1, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 and the Huawei Y3 (2018). These phones run one of the most basic versions of Android while still delivering a fairly smooth user experience.

Historically, consumers purchasing smartphones in the budget bracket would have a hit-and-miss experience with processing speed, smoothness of user interface, and app stability. The Google-supported Android Go edition operating system optimises the user experience by stripping out non-important visual effects to speed up the phone. Thish allows for more memory to be used by apps. 

Google also ensures that all smartphones running Android Go will receive feature and security updates as they are released by Google. This is a major selling point for these smartphones, as users of this smartphone will always be running the latest software, with virtually no manufacturer bloatware.

Vodafone Smart Kicka 4

At the lowest entry-level, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performs well as a communicator for emails and WhatsApp messages. The 4” screen represents a step up for entry-level Android phones, which were previously standardised at 3.5”.

The display is bright and very responsive, while the limited screen real estate leaves the navigation keys off the screen as touch buttons. It uses 3G connectivity, which might seem like an outdated technology, but is good enough to stream SD videos and music. Vodacom has also thrown in some data gifts if the smartphone is activated before the end of September 2018. 

Its camera functionalities might be a slight let down for the aspirant Instagrammer, with a 2MP rear flash camera and a 0.3MP selfie snapper. Speed wise, the keyboard pops up quickly, which is a huge improvement from the Smart Kicka 3. However, this phone will not play well with graphics-intensive games. 

Nokia 1

Next up is the Nokia 1, which adds a much better 5MP camera, improved battery life and a bigger 4.5” screen. It supports LTE, which allows this smartphone to download and upload at the speed of flagships. It also sports the Nokia brand name, which many consumers trust.

Although the front camera is 2MP, the quality is extremely grainy, even with good lighting. This disqualifies this smartphone for the social media selfie snapper, but the 5MP rear camera will work for the landscape and portrait photographer. 

The screen also redeems this smartphone, providing a display which represents colours truly and has great viewing angles. Xpress-on back covers allows the use of interchangeable, multi-coloured back covers, which has proven to be a successful sales point for mid-range smartphones in the past. 

Huawei Y3 (2018)

The most capable of the Android Go edition competitors, the Huawei Y3 (2018) packs an even bigger screen at 5”, as well as an improved 8MP rear camera and HD video recording. The screen is the brightest and most vibrant of the three smartphones, but seems to be calibrated to show colours a little more saturated than they actually are. 

Nevertheless, the camera outperforms the other smartphones with good colour replication and great selfie capabilities via the 2MP front camera – far superior to the Nokia 1 despite the same spec. LTE also comes standard with this smartphone and Vodacom throws in 4G/LTE data goodies until the end of September 2018. The battery, however, is not removable and may only be replaced by a warranty technician.

Comparing the 3

All three smartphones have removable back covers, which provide access to the battery, SIM card and SD card slots. The smartphones have Micro USB ports on the bottom with headphone jacks on the top. The built-in speakers all performed well, with the Y3 (2018) housing an exceptionally loud built-in speaker. 

Although all at different price points, all three phones remain similar in performance and speed. The differentiators are apparent in the components, like camera quality and screen quality. It would be fair to rank the quality of the camera and battery life by respective market prices. The Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performed well, for its R399 retail price. The Nokia 1, on the other hand, lags quite a bit in features when compared to the Huawei Y3 (2018), bwith oth retailing at R999.

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SA gets digital archive

As the world entered the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth on Mandela Day, 18 July 2018, South Africa celebrated the launch of a digital living archive. 

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The southafrica.co.za  site carries content about the country’s collective heritage in South Africa’s eleven official languages.

Designed as a nation building,  educational and brand promotion web based tool, the free-to-view platform features award-winning photographic and written content by leading South African photographers, authors, academics and photojournalists.

The emphasis is on quality, credible, factual content that celebrates a collective heritage in terms of the following: Cultural Heritage; Natural Heritage; Education; History; Agriculture; Industry; Mining; and Travel.

At the same time as reflecting on the nation’s history, southafrica.co.za celebrates South Africa’s natural, cultural and economic assets so that the youth can learn about their nation in their home language.

Southafrica.co.za Founder and CEO Hans Gerrizen conceptualised southafrica.co.za as a means for youth and communities from outlying areas to benefit from the digital age in terms of the web tool’s empowering educational component.

“We can only stand to deepen our collective experience of democracy and become a more forward planning nation if we know facts about our nation’s past and present in everyone’s home language,” he says.

Southafrica.co.za, with sister company Siyabona Africa, is the organiser and sponsor of the Mandela: 100 Moments photographic exhibition that runs until 30 September at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront-based Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island.  The 3-month exhibition, which runs daily from 08h00 until 15h00, is showcasing one hundred iconic Nelson Mandela images taken by veteran South African photojournalist and self-taught lensman Peter Magubane.

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