In 1995, Newsweek ran an article by Clifford Stoll titled, “The Internet? Bah!”. In it, he wrote: “Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic. Baloney.”

Stoll has since admitted that his predictions more than 20 years ago were very wrong, and the world has shifted into a new era in which the so-called “Internet of things” has become a very real and widely used concept.

Today we use the internet as an interactive classroom, we use Skype for meetings, and we do our shopping with the help of the World Wide Web. It has been no surprise that we’ve started utilising the internet and mobile phones to do our banking, too.

In 2015 the security firm Kaspersky Lab, in conjunction with B2B International did a survey that found that 43% of South Africans felt that traditional over-the-counter transactions were safer than internet banking. There’s no denying, however that using a mobile app to do your banking online does make life infinitely more convenient.

If you’re still wary of online banking, it might help to take note of these tips for safely transacting on the web.

  • If you receive an email that contains a link directing you to an Internet login page, do not respond, as chances are, it is directing you to a fraudulent page. Rather use the official login page of your bank, or your bank’s app.
  • Don’t use public access points like Internet cafés to do online banking of any kind, as the computers might be infected with malicious software, and the wifi connections aren’t always secure.
  • When using banking apps, make sure you are using the official sanctioned app of your bank.
  • Ensure your mobile has a password or other digital locking mechanism to keep thieves out of your phone. Your banking app will probably require you to log in before being able to access your account – make sure this is always activated.

If you do want to start using mobile banking, these are the official apps of the 5 big banks in South Africa.

Standard Bank: Android/iOS
ABSA: Android/iOS
FNB: Android/iOS
Capitec uses a different system, see how to get the app here.
Nedbank: Android/iOS

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