According to the Sunday Times, the hacking group SpiderLog$ has obtained data on a loan President Cyril Ramaphosa took out from one of South Africa’s top four banks in the 2000s.

SpiderLog$ claimed it was able to exploit data stolen from credit agency TransUnion earlier this year by another organisation known as N4ugtysecTU.

Ramaphosa’s home address, ID number, and telephone numbers were all included in the database. TransUnion denied that the Department of Homeland Security data was stolen from its servers, claiming that the attackers got it from a previous hack. Ramaphosa was not the only high-profile personality who allegedly compromised personal information in the TransUnion hack.

SpiderLog$ exploited Ramaphosa’s data to highlight deep faults in South African security systems, particularly those used by government ministries such as defence and state security.

“South Africa is a playground for hackers because anyone is able to map your country’s digital infrastructure,” the group told Sunday Times.

With the top leaders of our country being hacked, many have realised the brutal reality of their own personal information being at risk. Luckily there are a few measures that can be set in place to ensure your personal, as well as business data, is kept safe.

Despite the prevalence of computer hackers, most businesses use the internet to check their finances, purchase and keep inventory, execute marketing and public relations campaigns, connect with clients, use social media, and do other vital tasks. Even at large organisations with extensive security procedures in place, we continue to hear about catastrophic computer intrusions.

Small businesses are frequently targeted, particularly because they may misjudge the threat of cybercrime and lack the financial capacity to invest in costly cybersecurity solutions

To protect your devices and sensitive data, follow these guidelines:

Spam should be ignored

Always be wary of emails from unknown senders, and never click on links or open attachments in them. Spam filters in email inboxes have gotten very good at catching the most obvious spam. However, more sophisticated phishing emails that imitate your friends, associates, and reputable businesses (such as your bank) are becoming more popular, so be on the lookout for anything that looks or sounds suspect.

Anti-spyware software should be installed

Spyware is a type of software that watches and collects personal and organisational data invisibly. It is designed to be difficult to detect and delete, and it frequently displays unsolicited advertisements or search results that are intended to lead you to specific (sometimes malicious) websites.

To acquire access to passwords and other financial information, some spyware captures every input. Although anti-spyware focuses solely on this danger, it is frequently included in major antivirus products.

Update your browser

Always keep your operating systems up to date by installing new updates. The majority of updates feature security improvements that prevent hackers from gaining access to and exploiting your information. Apps are no different. Web browsers are becoming more intelligent, especially in terms of privacy and security. In addition to applying all new updates, make sure to verify your browser’s security settings. You can use your browser, for example, to prohibit websites from tracking your movements, thereby increasing your online privacy. Alternatively, you can use one of these private web browsers.

Make a backup of your PC

If your company isn’t backing up its hard drive yet, you should start doing so right now. Backing up your data is essential in the event that hackers succeed in breaking into your system and destroying it. 

Always ensure that you can recover as quickly as possible if your data is breached or lost. Start with the backup applications integrated into macOS (Time Machine) and Windows (File History). These utilities can also benefit from having enough capacity on an external backup hard disc.

Protecting your data from theft doesn’t have to be expensive—and, let’s face it, you can’t afford not to do so these days. A single data leak or mismanagement can severely harm a company’s reputation or even cause it to go out of business. You may secure your digital security and protect your clients by adding easy safety measures to your small business’s technological platform.