from TINTSWALO BALOYI in Johannesburg, South Africa
JOHANNESBURG – SOME 24 percent of users working from home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) have been affected by cyber crime.
This is according to findings by, KnowBe4 Africa, the company providing security awareness training.
It surveyed 881 respondents across South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritius and Botswana to discover how the continent views cyber security and its risks in a world shaped by the global pandemic.
“Nearly 50 percent of the respondents will continue to work from home; 24 percent indicated that they were affected by cybercrime while working from home, and only 30 percent believed that their governments prioritised cybersecurity in their policies,” said Anna Collard, Senior Vice President of content strategy and evangelist, KnowBe4 Africa.
“This year, respondents were even more concerned about cybercrime compared with 2019, with the number rising by 10 percent to 47,61 percent. Across all eight countries, there’s a growing awareness of the risks that come with cybercrime.”
According to the 2020 KnowBe4 African Report, however, people are still taking unnecessary risks.
Around 63,98 percent would give away their personal information if they believed that there was a need for it.
Nonetheless, concern lies in the 7 percent who would give away personal information if they got something back in return, like a discount, and the 6 percent who do it all the time.
This is supported by the fact that only 46 percent could define ransomware, nearly 20 percent have forwarded a spam or hoax email, 30 percent have clicked on a phishing email, 33,41 percent have fallen for a con artist or a scam and 52,7 percent have had a virus on their PC.
Collard said in South Africa, a worrying 31,5 percent thought that a Trojan virus encrypts files and demands payments, highlighting the need for training and education; especially considering that 40 percent of respondents think they would comfortably recognise a security threat if they saw one.
“Most people don’t realise what a risky email looks like or how their actions could result in their systems becoming infected.”
Email security is one of the biggest threats facing the average user, both at work and at home
Nearly 87 percent use email for work, closely followed by WhatsApp at 85
For their private lives, WhatsApp is the most popular communication channel on the continent, with 96 percent of respondents chatting on it with their friends and families.
Seventy-seven percent reported the pandemic changed the way they work, with more than 50 percent changing this for the foreseeable future.
– CAJ News