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How your business can also suffer identity theft

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An identity is stolen every 29 seconds in South Africa, and while one may assume that these are solely business cases – in which a couple of accounts were opened and a few thousand lost, the lucrative business of identity theft goes much deeper.

“The identity fraud ‘industry’ is worth about a billion rand and fraudsters are becoming more and more advanced in terms of the technology and practises deployed when it comes to identifying their next targets. With this in mind, businesses need to take extra precaution.”

This is according to Mark Chirnside – CEO of ThisIsMe, an identity verification company that helps organisations prevent fraud, easily manage compliance (KYC) while improving customer experience. He highlights that it is not only consumers who are at risk of having their identities stolen.

He says, “Prime targets are actually businesses themselves – of all sizes and across various industries. Business identity theft involves impersonating and defrauding a company and it can occur through the theft or misuse of company credentials and the manipulation of falsification of business documents and intellectual property.”

“While such documentation and intellectual property may seem secure within a trusted circle of staff, businesses may not realise they are at risk when sharing such details with employees, clients, customers and even suppliers who aren’t really who they say they are,” he adds.

ThisIsMe provides app-based solutions in this regard – verifying people’s true identity to protect your own. “This includes FICA compliance checks that encompass ID, address and cell-phone number verification. This way, whether it is a prospective staff member or an enquiring supplier, you can be sure of who you are sharing information with,” Chirnside explains.

He highlights that taking extra care in your dealings as a responsible company is especially vital considering that South African businesses have recently noted an increase in corporate identity theft incidents. The 2015 Metrofile Information and Records Management Index (released towards the end of last year) noted that 7% of respondents had become a victim of corporate identity theft in the 12 month period leading up to the survey.

“As fraud continues to take the spotlight worldwide, it is just not viable for businesses to ignore this growing trend. Corporate identity theft scams can result in not only financial losses but also reputational damage and legal action. It also has additional implications for the company’s staff, clients and suppliers in the event that their personal information is leaked.”

“Under South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information (Popi) Act, businesses have a legal obligation to ensure that the personal information of all customers, clients, employees and other stakeholders remain secure,” Chirnside says.

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Welcome to world of 2099

The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.

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Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.

This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.

Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.

As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.

“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”

The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.

“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”

Use the page links below to read about Tan’s vision of Soldiers and Health in 2099.

  •    Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entries via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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