The world is a cyber war-zone – arm yourself by being smart about it

Linda Khumalo, CEO of Alerting SA, urged community members to live a safe cyber life.

A very serious speaker asked a group of community members in a boardroom to lift up their computers. For a second, everyone in the room was stunned at his request as it was obvious none of them was sitting with a laptop or computer on their lap.

Then, the speaker altered his request – he asked them to lift up their cellular computers. The response was phenomenal as every single person in the room had a cellphone with him/ her.

To make his point, Linda Khumalo, CEO of Alerting SA, started his speech about cyber safety with this exercise. He explained that cellphones are no longer used solely for calling, but are rather a compact version of a computer. They’re email compatible, can surf the web and even run programs that previous phones couldn’t.

After this, he asked the audience which of them does not use gmail as an emailing service. Once again the results were astounding – not a single person raised a hand.

“Gmail in general doesn’t promise you that your emails are sent in confidentiality. Email interception is a reality, and with little encryption and fewer alternative platforms, people are vulnerable,” he said.

Linda is part of the Gauteng Department of Community Safety and Alerting SA, who are hosting the Youth Safe Cyber Life campaign in the West Rand policing precinct. The aim of the campaign is to create awareness among the youth on cyber-crime issues that are prevalent in the province because of the existing technological trends.

Lt Col Singo, Lt Col Ngubeni and Linda Khumalo talked to the community about cyber safety.

Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, MEC of Gauteng Community Safety, launched the project in Sebokeng recently and hopes to warn the youth of the dangers of cyber life.

The campaign will not stop at the Kagiso Police Station; instead it will move to other stations until Saturday, 17 June.

The events are expected to be attended by community members, representatives of various law enforcement agencies, the Community Safety Youth Desk and Community Policing Forum members.

“Every single person has a cyber life, some just don’t regulate it.”

(Issued by the Gauteng Department of Community Safety. For media enquiries, contact Ndivhuho Gadisi on 083 446 6495.)

10 Steps to live a SafeCyberLife:

1. Understand the technology you use

2. Impelement proper passwords

3. Use a proper and secure email service

4. Install a proper anti-virus system

5. Make sure you update your software

6. Manage your privacy settings

7. Manage your parental control

8. Manage all the applications in your device

9. Manage your own social media and online behaviour

10. Manage your cyber health at home and at your workplace.

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Bianca Pindral

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