South African National Cybersecurity Awareness Portal

Qaphela Online

Poster 3 (Venda)

Phishing is a method of deceitfully obtaining personal information such as passwords, identity numbers, credit card details and sometimes, indirectly, money. Essentially, it is an online con game, and phishers are nothing more than tech-savvy con artists and identity thieves. Phisher might call you or send e-mails that appear to be from trusted sources such as banks, other financial institutions or legitimate companies. If they used emails, such may direct you to click on a link to a website where you are asked to update your personal information such as passwords, credit card details, social security number or bank account number. This fake website is specifically designed for information theft. One of the most common forms of Phishing is “Spear Phishing”, which is a more targeted version of Phishing where an e-mail is sent to a targeted individual. Spear Phishing often has a high success rate as it bypasses traditional security defences and exploits vulnerable software. Spam, fake websites and other techniques are used to trick people into divulging sensitive information, such as bank and credit card account details. Once they have captured enough victims' information, they either use the stolen information themselves to defraud the victims (e.g., by opening up new accounts using the victim's name or draining the victim's bank accounts) or they sell it on the black market for a profit.

How to spot a phishing attack:

Generic greeting – Phishing emails are usually sent in large batches. Phishers use generic names like "First Generic Bank Customer”. If you do not see your name, be suspicious. Forged links – Even if a link has a name you recognise somewhere in it, it does not mean it links to the real website. Roll your mouse over the link and see if it matches what appears in the email. If it does not match, do not click on it. Requests personal information – The point of sending phishing email is to trick you into providing your personal information. If you receive an email requesting your personal information, it is probably a phishing attempt. Sense of urgency – Cybercriminals wants you to provide your personal information now.


The most effective defence against phishing attacks is prevention. To prevent, or at least cut down, on phishing attacks, you must: Avoid providing personal identifiable information to strangers or unknown websites, replying to unknown numbers, etc. Always type in the full URL of the website. Do not follow links from another website. Send request to hosting company to take down the fraudulent website. Immediately change any passwords you might have revealed. If you used the same password for multiple resources, make sure to change it for each account, and do not use that password in the future. Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, visits, or email messages from individuals asking about employees or other internal information. If an unknown individual claims to be from a legitimate organisation, try to verify his or her identity directly with the company. Do not provide personal information or information about your organisation, including its structure or networks, unless you are certain of a person's authority to have the information. Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information. This includes following links sent in emails. Don't send sensitive information over the Internet before checking a website's security. Pay attention to the URL of a website. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate website, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g., .com vs. .net). Never use contact information provided on a website connected to the request; instead, check previous statements for contact information. Install and maintain antivirus software, firewalls, and email filters to reduce some of this traffic. Take advantage of any anti-phishing features offered by your email client and web browser. Consider reporting the attack to the police, and file a report with the Cybersecurity Hub Phishing Department

More Information

The following information on Cyberbullying was extracted from the Cyber Bullying Statistics, HelpGuide and other relevant sources.

Cyberbullying is the most prevalent form of online threat affecting children and is the deliberate use of digital media to communicate false, embarrassing, or hostile information about, or to another person. Cyberbullying is a form of teen violence that can do lasting harm to young people and is a serious problem among teens. By being more aware of cyberbullying, teens and adults can help to fight it.

Cyberbullying affects many adolescents and teens on a daily basis. Cyberbullying involves using technology, like cell phones and the Internet, to bully or harass another person. Many South African children are reluctant to report to adults when they are being bullied online. However, if you know or suspect your child is the victim of cyberbullying, there are steps you can take to stop it. 

Signs for cyberbullying can be one or many of the following:

  • Being upset or unusually quiet following use of the phone or Internet;
  • Emotional withdrawal;
  • Being secretive or protective of a device;
  • Sudden disinterest in social activities or sport;
  • Reluctance to go to school;
  • Slipping in grades or lack of focus on study;
  • Changes in mood, behaviour, sleep or appetite;
  • An increased susceptibility to illness; this could be real or used as an excuse to avoid the source of the bullying;
  • Sudden withdrawal and dislike of social media;
  • Nervous behaviour when getting an instant message, text or email;
  • Avoiding discussions on bullying.

Examples of Cyberbullying include:

  • mean text messages.
  • harsh emails.
  • starting or spreading rumours about someone online.
  • posting or sharing embarrassing pictures or videos of someone
  • without their permission.
  • setting up fake profiles and posing as someone else.
  • creating cruel websites as an attack on someone.

Protect kids and your loved ones from cyberbullying:

  • Limit where your children post personal information and monitor their online activities.
  • Avoid escalating the situation such as responding with anger is likely to provoke a bully.
  • Document everything related to the cyberbullying incident.
  • Report cyberbullying to the nearest police station.

Tips for kids or teens dealing with cyberbullying:

  • If you are targeted by cyberbullies, it's important not to respond to any messages or posts written about you, no matter how hurtful or untrue. Responding will only make the situation worse and provoking a reaction from you is exactly what the cyberbullies want, so don't give them the satisfaction.
  • It's also very important that you don't seek revenge on a cyberbully by becoming a cyberbully yourself. Again, it will only make the problem worse and could result in serious legal consequences for you. If you wouldn't say it in person, don't say it online.

Instead, respond to cyberbullying by: 

  • Saving the evidence of the cyberbullying, keep abusive text messages or a screenshot of a webpage, for example, and then report them to a trusted adult, such as a family member, teacher, or school counsellor. If you don't report incidents, the cyberbully will often become more aggressive.
  • Reporting threats of harm and inappropriate sexual messages to the police. In many cases, the cyberbully's actions can be prosecuted by law.
  • Being relentless. Cyberbullying is rarely limited to one or two incidents. It's far more likely to be a sustained attack on you over a period of time. So, like the cyberbully, you may have to be relentless and keep reporting each and every bullying incident until it stops. There is no reason for you to ever put up with cyberbullying.
  • Preventing communication from the cyberbully, by blocking their email address, cell phone number, and deleting them from social media contacts. Report their activities to their Internet service provider (ISP) or to any social media or other websites they use to target you. The cyberbully’s actions may constitute a violation of the website’s terms of service or, depending on the laws in your area, may even warrant criminal charges.

 More Information

Below are a few campaigns, which focus on different cybersecurity, online safety and privacy topics and integrate Qaphela I Online messaging and tips.




South African Cybersecurity Awareness 2017

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