The past few years have seen a number of notable data breaches compromise the information of internet users the world over, and South Africa is no different.

So much so that it’s having an effect on the psyche of local consumers, with a Mastercard survey noting that 87 percent of people now accept data breaches and hacks as the “new normal” and a natural part of everyday life these days.

What is perhaps a more worrying statistic is that 70 percent of people surveyed believed that there is nothing that can be done to curb the current spate of data breaches.

Following these concerning findings, Mastercard is calling for better cyber tools to be in place to help protect the South African online community, which currently accounts for an estimated 54 percent of the entire population.

What can actually be done about it? Well that’s what conferences like the Mastercard Connecting Tomorrow Forum, currently underway in Barcelona, wants to tackle.

In order to address concerns in the interim, Mastercard have provided a few helpful tips to make one’s online experience a bit more secure.

“Being a smart consumer extends beyond knowing how to save and spend money – it requires practicing good security habits in today’s online world,” says Mark Elliott, division president of Mastercard, Southern Africa.

“Since many attacks are opportunistic and take advantage of known vulnerabilities or poor cybersecurity practices, South Africans need to know they aren’t powerless. There are some simple things people can do that don’t require a lot of time, yet will make them and their information more secure online,” he adds.

In a bid to do their part Mastercard adds that it will be investing more heavily in biometric solutions, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence.

“Technology and increased connectivity to the internet is making everyday life easier for consumers. But along with increased access and convenience, this digital transformation also brings additional dangers and complexities,” says Elliott.

“Today’s payment innovations enable consumers to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing their data and money are safe – without compromising on simplicity and convenience,” he concludes.

 

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]