Cyber security protection tips for the new year

13 January 2022 | Opinion

Windhoek • Martin Hamukwaya



The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) has in recent years increased the shift and reliance in the use of information technology for its staff and members.

As we aim to reduce the further spread of the Covid-19, we encourage our members to make use of our online platforms such as the GIPF member portal, our regional call centre lines and regional emails addresses, to access our services.

The Fund pleads with members to always remain vigilant when using our online platforms specifically, the member portal. We encourage members to keep their passwords private.

It’s the dawn of a New Year and as such we reflect on a very difficult year when it comes to Covid-19. During this time, everyone is in a joyous, celebratory and free-spirited mood yet others are quite anxious about the year ahead. With an entire year upon us, certain individuals dread thinking about what the year holds for them due to financial constraints. It is with this background in mind that I wish to caution our members to be observant when it comes to their finances.

Mischievous people will approach you for their own benefit to rob you of your hard-earned savings. They are prone to use the following vectors:

Personal and electronic scams such as:

1. Emails

2. WhatsApp

3. Text messages and,

4. Phone calls.

Before responding to prompts via any of the above means of communication, verify the legitimacy of the person contacting you. Where you are requested to share personal information, scrutinize the information again. Refrain from sharing any of your personal information like: Pins, Debit Card/Credit Card Numbers, and any other personal information.

When making use of ATMs, swiping your card at any place or making use of online banking, be aware of your surroundings and ensure your personal details are protected.

Smart tips

Below are a few tips to set up complex and lengthy passwords which consists of at least 12 characters when using the GIPF online portal, online banking and email addresses.

When creating your password consider the following:

• Do not use personal information

• Do not make your password easy to guess

• Do not write your password down

• Do not share your password

• Do not use alphabet sequence (abcdef…), number sequence (1234567) or keyboard sequence (asdfghjkl)

• Use a passphrase

• Make it something you can visualize

• Use a mixture of upper/lower case, numbers and special characters.

Additionally, we would like to encourage our members and the public to be weary of the following:

1. Increased phishing and ransomware attacks:

Communication via emails has increased drastically during the pandemic and will continue to rise in the near future. Therefore, some people (hackers) with malicious intent also make use of this opportunity to send out emails or direct messages to different social media platforms. These dishonest emails or direct messages often require you to install an executable file that encrypts your data or prompt you to click on a link which will further request you to provide more information about yourself.

When you come across such emails, you are encouraged to scrutinize who the sender is as well as the content and it should be familiar to you before you can reply or act upon the mail. However, you may delete.

2. Free Public WiFi/Internet

Restaurants, malls, airports and other public places often provide “Free WiFi” to customers and users. These Free WiFi offerings are often not secured and come with the risk of being breached as hackers know and sometimes see many people making use of their mobile devices. A few risks associated with using public hotspots are:

• Malware distribution, access to private information and unencrypted networks. I advise you to try as much as possible not to use free public WiFi offerings as the security around it is not adequate to protect your device compared to what an organisation would put in place.

* Martin Hamukwaya is the GIPF’s Information Systems Security Officer.

Similar News

 

#stayHEALTHY_staySOBER

1 month - 14 December 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Romanzo Steenkamp Namibia braces itself for more socio-economic problems as food prices increase by 26.2%, but alcohol only with 12 %. Shocking!...

Spotlight on Shark Island

1 month - 27 November 2021 | Opinion

It was on this fateful day, 2 October 1904, when German imperial genocide general Lothar von Trotha declared genocide against the Ovaherero people, and extended...

Wellbeing strengthens employee engagement

4 months ago - 22 August 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Agnes Yeboah Change is constant in life, and it exempts no systems or people. The onslaught of Covid-19 has altered how the...

Why appointing a proxy and executor is vital

5 months ago - 14 August 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Taswald JulyMost of us have probably faced death and thought about our own mortality more often, and however daunting the prospect may be,...

Stay home, stay safe

5 months ago - 08 August 2021 | Opinion

In line with the very challenging times we are in due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the increase in positive cases and deaths throughout the...

Bridging the healthcare divide saves lives

5 months ago - 27 July 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Celia Sofia Stephanus In December 2019, Covid-19 became something for the world to worry about. It was no longer something that was...

The ‘silent pandemic’

5 months ago - 25 July 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Dr David Emvula Infertility is a global health problem characterized by failure to achieve a pregnancy. It affects both women and men...

Career success positioning is vital

6 months ago - 30 June 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Agnes Yeboah The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the fourth industrial revolution. These days, because career paths are rapidly evolving, securing and maintaining...

The impact of Covid-19 is not gender impartial

6 months ago - 30 June 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Ruusa Nandago The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy has laid bare the many inequalities that exist in our societies....

Differences between Covid and flu

7 months ago - 07 June 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Dr Nelson Makemba There have been many mixed emotions around the Covid vaccine and it is important to establish what a vaccine...

Latest News

The Audi Q5, SQ5 Sportback

14 hours ago | Motors

Following the Q3 Sportback and the e-tron Sportback, Audi now presents its third crossover utility vehicle, the first-ever Q5 Sportback. This coupé with dynamic lines...

Drones delivering to your doorstep

14 hours ago | Technology

Windhoek • [email protected] Namibia will most likely start using drones to deliver medicine to remote locations within the next few weeks.This comes after a...

More than the absence of...

14 hours ago | Health

Ideally, it is a state of mental well-being in which people cope well with the many stresses of life, can realize their own potential, and...

Suspected avian flu being investigated

2 days ago - 14 January 2022 | Environment

Swakopmund • [email protected] Following a major outbreak of avian influenza in South Africa’s Western Cape a few months ago that killed almost 25 000...

Taxi-tariff guide gives legal footing

2 days ago - 14 January 2022 | Infrastructure

Walvis Bay • [email protected] The recently published taxi-tariff guide by the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta) to accompany the official taxi-tariff hike...

Boggelrugwalvis spoel uit

2 days ago - 14 January 2022 | Picture of the day

'n Boggelrugwalvis het gister laatmiddag by Langstrand Uitbreiding 1 tussen Swakopmund en Walvisbaai uitgespoel. Volgens 'n inwoner het die dooie walvis met laegety teen 'n...

Van Walvis tot wêreldklas animasieregisseur

2 days ago - 14 January 2022 | Art and Entertainment

Windhoek ∙ [email protected] Die Namibies gebore Reginald Amukoshi Emvula was een van die regisseurs van die animasiefilm Encanto wat Maandagoggend die Golden Globe-toekenning vir...

Maybe I was wrong –...

2 days ago - 14 January 2022 | Police

Windhoek ∙ Mathias Haufiku Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga yesterday said he might have acted ‘ultra vires’ when he issued an internal memo to...

Shangula lambasts anti-vaxxers

2 days ago - 14 January 2022 | Ministries

Health and social services minister Kalumbi Shangula has implored vaccine sceptics to abandon the anti-vaccine campaign and to join the nation to successfully fight Covid-19...

Load More