How to protect yourself against data breaches

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) has provided guidelines on how to protect yourself against data breaches.

This follows the large database leak which exposed the personal information of millions of South Africans.

Sabric encouraged consumers to protect their information by sharing it selectively and on a need-to-know basis only.

Personal information includes ID documents, driver’s licences, passports, addresses, and contact details.

In addition, confidential information – which includes usernames, passwords, and PINs – should never be shared.

“Good identity management practices can assist in mitigating the risk of impersonation, should the information be compromised,” said Sabric.

Sabric recommended that South Africans take the following measures due to the data leak:

  • Implement dual authentication for all accounts and products, especially for financial services.
  • Register for SMS notifications to alert you when products and accounts are accessed.
  • Conduct regular credit checks to verify whether someone has applied for credit using your information.
  • Investigate and register for credit-related alerts offered by credit bureaus.
  • Check your bank statements regularly.

Sabric also encouraged consumers to implement tips given by the banking industry:

  • Don’t carry unnecessary personal information in your wallet or purse.
  • Don’t disclose passwords and PINs when asked to do so by anyone via telephone, fax, or email.
  • Don’t write down PINs and passwords, and avoid using birth dates and names.
  • Don’t use personal identifiable information as a password or PIN.
  • Don’t use Internet cafes, hotels, or conference centres to do online banking.

Now read: Massive South African database leak just got bigger – 60 million records online

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How to protect yourself against data breaches