Alert Africa | Use Common Sense



 Cyber Security Tip #1 – Use your common senseUse-common-sense-

If it looks too good to be true… it probably is.

Quick Tips


Never share personal information such as your ID number on unverified websites or via e-mail.

Only engage people on social media you know personally, or referred by a trusted contact. (verified)

Limit personal information on your public social media accounts (for example don’t make your home address publicly accessible on Facebook.)

Review your privacy settings on your social media accounts.

Be aware of who might be watching when entering pins and passwords.

Use strong and unique passwords. (the more complex the password the better!)

Do not enable GPS location tracking on social media i.e. don’t allow social media sites or any other sites to automatically track your location.

Do a background check (e.g. Google search) on people/companies before engaging with them.


Getting Hands On

 Avoid being scammed: 

Do not click on links in e-mails, especially e-mails that look as if they are from your bank. (see CST 4)

Don’t make hasty decisions.

Think about the “opportunity” before proceeding.

Don’t feel pressured to make an immediate decision even if the e-mail demands immediate action from you.

Always read any fine print very carefully. Do not believe everything you read online or in emails.

Ask for more information on the person/company to verify that the person and / or the company is legit.


 Don’t become a victim of social engineering: 

The following are some of the techniques used by cyber criminals (social engineers):

SHOULDER SURFING: The social engineer peers over your shoulder while you are typing in your pin or password. Defence: Always be aware of who is around you and cover the key pad or keyboard when typing in your pin/password.

DUMPSTER DIVING: The social engineer scavenges through dustbins for improperly disposed information they can use, for example, bank statements. Defence: Never throw away confidential information in the dustbin – rather shred, burn or cut it into many pieces.

BAITING (FREE USB): The social engineer leaves a USB where you are likely to find it, for example in in the parking lot of where you work, or hand them out for free at your local coffee shop. These USB’s are usually loaded with what seems to be information you might be interested in, but instead contains viruses. Defence: Never use USB’s that were lying around or that are given out for free at untrusted places.

Why Should I Care?

 Personal Impact 

Identity theft.

Personal information theft.

Your social media accounts can be compromised (hacked).

You may suffer reputational damage should hackers post unsavoury content to hacked accounts.

Your bank accounts could be compromised and money stolen.

Email account compromised (hacked) and used to send spam and scams to everyone on your address book.

Criminals can take pictures of you with your webcam / front camera.

Criminals can make audio and / or video recordings of you and your surroundings using your device.

Criminals can use these recordings and pictures for extortion, blackmail or misrepresentation.

Your credit record can be damaged.

Accounts can be opened in your name without your knowledge.

Your email inbox could be flooded with unwanted emails. (Spam)



Images of you or your family can be harvested without your permission and used on unsavoury websites.

Untrusted people can track the movements of your family from geotags in certain pictures posted on the web.

Untrusted people (e.g. paedophiles) can gather intelligence on your family from various online sources and attempt to contact your children.


 Device Security 

Criminals can implicate your device in cybercrime.

Your device can become infected with viruses (malware).


 Data Security 

There are many incidents that could result in you losing some or all of your valuable data.

Useful Websites

For reporting scams and getting news on the latest scams.

For reporting scams and getting news on the latest scams.

To report Identity Fraud/Theft and how to protect your identity.