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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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CES: And thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for making and enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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