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From Zoom to Netflix, your life could be a hack waiting to happen


From Zoom to Netflix, cyberattacks are getting clever about getting your attention.

In 2020, the world went digital. The global pandemic pushed companies and individuals, not very gently, into the realms of remote working and online meetings and digital engagements. 

On one hand, this shove was inspirational. People stopped sitting in traffic, wore comfortable clothes and discovered previously unplumbed depths of productivity. On the other, the cybercriminals were equally inspired. Attacks became more inventive, subtle and clever in their approaches. 

According to Anna Collard, SVP Content Strategy and Evangelist of KnowBe4 Africa, they are insidious and dangerous and it’s becoming essential that people learn how to recognise the threats and protect themselves against them.

“Platforms like Zoom and Netflix have seen huge adoption which has meant a rise in attacks,” she explains. “Criminals use increasingly sophisticated methods to bypass systems that flag phishing attacks and try to trick you into revealing information that gives them access to your accounts, be they business or personal. And as soon as they have this information, they get into your systems and distribute malicious emails to your contacts and dive even deeper into systems and personal details.”

A surge of cyberattacks


Researchers at the firm INKY found that from March to August 2020, there was a rush of attacks trying to steal Office 365 credentials using spoofed login pages. Emails were sent from compromised accounts in legitimate companies and because they are from a trusted source, people fall for them and hand over their credentials. The result is that the next company is compromised, and the next, in a domino effect that ripples across industry and individual.

“They trick people by sending them to a fake Office 365 page to verify their login details and then they use that information to get into these accounts,” says Collard.
The average phishing campaign lasts for only around 24-hours but it can take security technologies up to nine hours to catch up. This means that they can send millions of emails and catch out hundreds of people in that window of opportunity.
Often, the cybercriminals will register new domains or squat on legitimate domains that they’ve managed to gain access to. With the Netflix phishing attack, the hackers used a standard and recognisable CAPTCHA system on the page so that users felt secure and that they were entering their information onto a legitimate page. The CAPTCHA system is used by multiple websites to ensure that bots are kept out and provide a sense of security, but the hackers leveraged this to lead people to a fake site that then took their details and used them for nefarious purposes.

“The result? Even those who may be more aware of security risks fell for the CAPTCHA page and the scam,” says Collard. “It was extremely clever and preyed on the fact that people assume that the presence of certain things on a website mean it is secure and legitimate. The problem is that many people still don’t know how to identify a legit domain from a fake one and now this needs to become an essential part of security awareness and training campaigns.”

Cyber crime is evolving


And training is the name of the game when it comes to security. The hackers are constantly evolving and changing their tactics and people are being caught unaware by scams that can damage them both financially and reputationally. The impact is far reaching, into personal and business lives, so the best offence is a great training defence.

“It has become essential that people are educated around the risks, are au fait with the clever tactics being used, know about the latest scams, so they can identify some of the most common threats,” concludes Collard. “This is the only way to minimise the risk of being duped and maximise personal and professional protection.”

For protection against Cyber attacks and loss of data you can take out a Cyber insurance Policy.
For information please leave your details on our website.



Article featured in Biz Community - written by Anna Collard


Know more about Child Passenger Safety



Despite constant progress in terms of vehicle safety, road traffic accidents still represent the number one causes of fatalities amongst children under the age of 10.

Regardless of it being law that every child under the age of 3 be securely strapped into a car seat, a shocking 93% of motorists, taxi and bus services flaunt this law, which is not effectively enforced by local and national police. The majority of injuries, through car accidents, are due to a complete lack of any kind of child safety restraint. 

An adult holding a child in their arms provides absolutely no protection in the event of an accident. In a crash at a speed of 50 km/h, body weight is increased by around 30 times. For example, a child weighing approximately 30 kg turns into a projectile weighing a ton. At the point of impact, no-one is capable of restraining them. The strength of the impact is equal to falling 3 stories.

“Child Passenger Safety week runs internationally from the 7th to the 11th of September, and we at Maxi-Cosi really want to get people talking about the importance of our children’s safety in motor vehicles in South Africa.,” says Debbie Billson, Operations Director for Maxi-Cosi. “We want to educate and inform South African road users of the dangers of travelling on our roads with children who are not securely strapped into a car seat, as well as ensuring the car seat they use has undergone the minimum crash testing required. Strapping our children into a well secured car seat needs to become something every single one of us do, no matter how short a car trip we are doing!”

While children under the age of 3 are legally required to be securely restrained in a car seat, standard seat belts in most cars are designed for adult passengers 150cm and taller, leaving children between the ages of 4 and 12 years old requiring additional support in the form of a booster seat. “Children under 150cm are not safe just being secured by a seat belt, they are physically not developed enough to be secure,” says Bilson.

“The lower belt doesn’t sit on their hips, as it is intended to do with adults, and rather ends up around their abdomen, which can result in fatal internal injuries in the case of a crash. The upper section of the belt rests dangerously across their neck, as opposed to being on their shoulder, and can easily break a child’s neck in the case of an accident! A simple booster seat can prevent unnecessary injuries and deaths.”

South African consumers are fortunate to have a large selection of well-tested, reasonably priced car seat options, there is no excuse not to be using one! “The average car seat costs a measly 1% of the value of most cars in SA,” exclaims Billson. “For the average lifespan of a car seat it works out to less than R2 per day to ensure your child is safe – there honestly is NO EXCUSE to not be securing your child into a car seat every time they get into a vehicle!”

Here are a list of safety tips to ensure you are using your car seat as effectively and safely as possible:

1.    Always use a car seat, even on short trips

It’s obvious, and it’s the law, but we still sometimes see children travelling without a car seat. Accidents can happen, even on the shortest trips. Many children are taken on trips of less than 3km without being strapped in, therefore, if unrestrained, an impact can prove fatal from speeds of 20km/h. In the event of an accident when a child is not restrained by a safety device, the risk of being ejected from the car is 6 or 7 time greater.

2.    Avoid second-hand car seats

You can never be sure a second-hand car seat is a safe car seat. You don’t know if it’s been damaged in an accident, or has pieces missing or has been misused in any way.

3.    Use the correct size car seat

It’s best to buy a car seat for your child based on their current height and weight. Investigate and consider all your options when purchasing a seat that claims to cover multiple age groups.  Your child must travel in a car seat that is the appropriate size for them. This will ensure adequate safety for your child if you are ever involved in the unfortunate instance of a collision 

4.    Install car seats correctly

-    Group 0 or Car seats for babies under 1 year or 80 cm in height must always be rear-facing.
-    If your car has ISOFIX Points, you can select any car seat with either an ISOFIX connection or opt for a seat that uses your car’s seat belt.  ISOFIX Systems provides increased safety by eliminating human error when the seat is installed in the car. 
-    If you don’t have ISOFIX you can use a seat belt installed car seat. Make sure you know how to guide the belt correctly and pull the car seat belt tight.
-    Pull the car seat’s safety harness tight. If you can just slip one finger between the harness and your child’s chest, it’s tight enough. 
-    Read the car seat manual or watch the installation video and follow the instructions carefully.
•    Both forms of installations options are safe as long as they are installed correctly, Isofix, however, does offer more safety but preventing incorrect installation over the seat belt option.  

5.    Take your child’s coat off

A thick coat can make the harness less effective. If your child is cold, use their coat as a blanket over the harness.

6.    Make sure the safety harness is at the right height and not twisted

The harness should always be adjusted to the correct height setting which is at shoulder height. Check there are no twists in the straps. Incorrect height placement of the harness often results in children unbuckling themselves, escaping from the seat, head flops and potentially the harness could slip off during a collision.

7.    Use a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible

It’s safest for babies and toddlers to stay in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least 15 months old. It doesn’t matter if their legs stick out, but if their heads are higher than the seat shell, they need the next size. The neck of a child matures with age, and not when it reaches a certain stature or mass. Up until 15 months, the baby’s neck is not yet developed enough to withstand the impulsive force of an average frontal collision because of its relatively heavy head.

The excessive pressure on the neck of the baby might lead to serious neck injuries. When travelling rearward facing, the forces of a frontal collision are better spread over a greater area of the body of the baby, which leads to less pressure on the head and neck.

8.    Beware of activated frontal airbags

The safest place for a rear-facing car seat is on the back seat. This avoids the danger of front airbags inflating against the seat. Deactivate the front airbag if you use your car seat on the front passenger seat and place this seat in the further most position.

9.    Keep loose items off the rear parcel shelf

In an accident, even small loose items can turn into dangerous projectiles. Tuck them away safely. 

 

 

 

Photo credits: Denis Largeron Photography
Article courtesy of Arrive Alive under Road safety highlights


Accidents happen. It pays to be prepared




With the move to level 2 lockdown, many restrictions have been relaxed to allow greater personal freedom and to open-up our crippled economy. More people might be returning to work and also with interprovincial travel permitted this will result in more cars on the roads and an increased likelihood of accidents.

Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience that we all wish we could avoid, but unfortunately it is an unplanned event that has inconvenient or undesirable consequences.

For this reason, it is important that we equip ourselves with knowledge of how to prepare for such an unfortunate event.
Here’s some Do's and Don’ts that will help guide you in an event of an accident to make the claims process as easy and convenient as possible:

Do’s
• Stop immediately: Aside from the fact that leaving an accident scene is illegal, it is important to stop as civil consequences may arise from the accident such as claims for damage to property or personal injury. A complete and accurate account of the accident is therefore of critical importance. 
• Call emergency services: If someone is injured or killed it is important to get emergency services to your location as quick as possible. You can also make use of your Roadside assistance Emergency services provided by your Insurers. The police or traffic officer at the scene of the accident will take down a statement and compile a report, especially if someone is injured or deceased. 
• Get detailed information: Get as much information as you can of all other motor vehicles involved in the accident such as: 
 * driver’s names 
 * identity numbers 
 * addresses
 * telephone numbers 
 * description, sketch and/or pictures of the vehicles 
 * registration numbers and any relevant details from the license discs 
 * the date, time and address of the accident 
* the weather and road conditions 
* details of tow truck drivers
 * details of police and emergency medical personnel
• Keep notes: Keep extensive notes about all conversations and receipts for all expenses pertaining to the accident. Having a paper-trail will assist with your claims process. 
• Notify your insurer: It is important to understand, even before you are in an accident, what your insurance cover entails and to contact your insurer as soon as possible. Ensure that you have your insurers’ emergency services telephone number readily available on your cell phone or via an App.

Don’ts
• Don’t panic: Panicking will only cloud your judgement. We know it is a tough ask when you find yourself in such a situation but try and remain calm so that you can think clearly and contact emergency services and your insurer.
• Don’t move your vehicle: Members of the public are not allowed to move vehicles until the police arrive at the scene especially if people were injured or killed in an accident. Moving your vehicle could also impact you negatively if there are civil consequences. 
• Don’t negotiate: It is best to let your insurer communicate directly with the other party(ies) involved and/or their insurer. 
• Don’t allow your vehicle to be towed until you have insurer authorisation: Contact your insurer as quick as possible is to arrange for an authorised towing company to assist you. Most insurers include this service as part of the cover plan. If you do not have towing cover with your insurance, ensure that you have details of the towing company and the tow truck driver. 
• Don’t delay: Contacting your insurer as soon as possible is important. If you need to submit a claim, it is best not to wait and kick start your claims process while the incident is fresh in your mind.

It is of critical importance to read your policy document thoroughly, know your rights and responsibilities and most importantly what you are covered for should the unfortunate event of an accident occur. This will help you in understanding the insurer’s claim process and to avoid finding out at claim stage that you are not covered for what you thought you were covered for.

For any assistance please phone our office 031-5021922 or visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za.

 

Article credits: FANews, written by Vickey Swanevelder, Executive Head: Claims & Client Experience at Momentum Short-term Insurance 

 


‘Broker’ vs independent financial advisor: the Key Differences



The differences between financial advisors and independent brokers are often misunderstood and misrepresented. In the wake of recent legislative changes to the status of financial advisors, it is important for all consumers of financial services to have a clear and accurate understanding of the implications of the different statuses.

Unfortunately the above-mentioned article provides a rather one-sided view of the value propositions and implications of the various advisor statuses. We believe prospective customers would benefit from a more balanced view of the value offered by non-independent advisors (i.e. advisors affiliated to a product supplier).





The term ‘broker’, which has largely fallen into disuse, referred to an independent sales person who sold financial products to members of the public.

Today, only licensed and qualified financial service providers may provide financial advice and intermediary services, including the sale of financial products. This means all licensed financial advisors, regardless of their independence, may provide financial advisory as well as product sale services.

Where a product is sold with no analysis, advice or recommendations, legislation requires that risks attached to such a sale need to be explained clearly. Most advisors today will not offer a product before the customer’s financial position has been analysed, with relevant financial needs and goals identified to enable the right recommendations and advice.

This advisory service is a professional service regulated by the FAIS Act to ensure that every advisor has the required skills, knowledge, licensing and professional accountability.

The cornerstone services of the advice process, whether conducted by an independent or non-independent advisor, is analysing the customer’s financial position relative to their needs and goals, drafting a holistic financial plan and providing strategies to meet these needs.

These days the difference between an independent and non-independent advisor therefore becomes relevant only when considering the products that can be recommended and sold.

While it is true that an independent advisor is able to provide a broader range of solutions across various insurers and platforms to meet the customer’s needs, they will need to perform a comprehensive comparative analysis. Identifying the differences in offerings is necessary to enable the customer to make an informed decision.

This, however, does not mean that a non-independent advisor will not also be able to provide a range of solutions that is also sufficient to address the customer’s needs. Nor does it mean that the customer will in any way be hampered from achieving his/her financial goals when dealing with a non-independent.

The value that a non-independent advisor offers is their strong focus on quality financial planning and advice processes and outcomes, combined with an in-depth understanding of their smaller focused suite of solutions/products. The advantage of a more limited selection of products is that it enables the non-independent advisor to structure and customise these products to best meet the needs of the customer.
The disadvantage being tied to one product supplier is that you have nothing to compare it to. If terms or increases are applied the Broker can not move the policy to another Insurer as they are tied to one product supplier, which in turn is not giving the client the benefit of comparisons or the opportunity to move their portfolio to a different risk carrier.

The changes in legislation have ensured that the regulated advice processes across the entire industry are focused on advice as opposed to product sales. The “after sales” servicing policy as well as the provision of continuous advice (also referred to as customer reviews) are mandatory for all.

While many independent and non-independents are remunerated by commission, many financial services providers also have advice fee structures in place, should a customer prefer this payment option.

In short, what every consumer needs to know is that there are indeed key differences between independent and non-independent advisors, but each has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages.

For any assistance from an Independent Advisor with numerous product offerings with various Insurers please feel free to visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za.


Article featured in Moneyweb 11/9/2020 by Lizl Budhram, head of advice, Old Mutual Personal Finance.
(This article is aimed more at the Long Term Industry

African born Elon Musk’s Tesla launches fast electric car charging in Berlin, says more cities to come!!

 

BERLIN (Reuters) – Managers at electric carmaker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) on Thursday demonstrated new supercharger equipment on a Berlin research campus, saying they were looking at more target cities to attract potential buyers worried about access to charging.Tesla cars are seen at the V3 supercharger equipment during the presentation of the new charge system in the EUREF campus in Berlin, Germany September 10, 2020. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi

“Now, as part of our commitment to make Tesla ownership easy and convenient for everyone including those without immediate access to home or workplace charging, we are expanding out supercharging network into city centres,” said Jeroen van Tilburg, manager Europe of charging infrastructure at Tesla, the company owned by South African born Elon Musk.


SpaceX Chief Engineer Elon Musk speaks in front of Crew Dragon cleanroom at SpaceX Headquarters in Hawthorne, California on October 10, 2019. (Photo by Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


A company spokesman told reporters Tesla would open at least one more inner-city fast charging site in Germany in 2020, possibly more.

He stressed that Tesla still believed in slow workplace and residential charging as the main way to charge vehicles but wanted to offer a quicker option.

The so-called V3 charger allows Tesla Model 3 cars to charge within five minutes enough to travel 120 kilometres (75 miles).

Older Tesla models would receive relevant software upgrades.

German policymakers aim to boost demand for electric cars to cut emissions.

“We have a lot to make up for in terms of charging infrastructure,” said Germany’s Economy Minister Peter Altmaier at the event.

He reiterated pledges to speed the roll-out of public charging points and permits for private charging which had hampered sales in the past.

Latest legislation for a green-led recovery after the coronavirus crisis offers buyers incentives and helps bump up power grids.

Tesla has chosen a site near Berlin for a new factory due to start operating next year.

Separately to the event, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper said on Thursday the factory had the potential to create 40,000 jobs, citing the economy minister of Brandenburg state.

Soon we will be insuring your new Electric car, but until that day comes we continue offering our services on your existing Diesel and Petrol engines.

For a free quote contact us though our website www.esbrokers.co.za

 


Article courtesy of Reuters c/o CNBC Africa

Is leaving a legacy on your bucket list?



Most people have a unique bucket list of adventures and achievements they are keen to experience in their lifetime. Some include trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro, others long to take a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia in Turkey (In the photo above) or watch the Monaco Grand Prix live in person.

No two bucket lists are alike, but there is one item that adults of all ages need to consider including on it, and that’s developing a storm-proof financial plan.

A robust long-term financial plan will not only empower you to make those bucket list items a reality, it will also enable you to leave a lasting legacy for the people you love.

The younger you are when you put those plans in place, the better.
It’s easy to be distracted by things that give instant thrills like a new 4x4, but there are significant long-term benefits for those who plan ahead and delay some of these thrills. (Delayed gratification apposed to instant gratification).

A key motivator for savers is compound interest. The sooner you start saving, and the longer you save for, the greater the positive impact of compound interest on your savings. As you get to earn interest on your interest, it accelerates the rate at which your savings grow.

When you are young, your overall financial dependents and responsibilities tend to be lower, which means it’s the ideal time to start investing in your future and lay the foundations that will enable your money to grow.

Ingraining financial discipline in your daily life when you are young also helps to make saving an effortless habit. You get used to paying yourself first to amplify your future wellbeing.

The first rule of building a stable future that will take you through the various stages of your life in comfort and style is to decide what you want your money to do for you.

Answering this question will help guide every financial planning decision you make. For instance, if you decide that you want to retire early, this will shape your investment strategy.




Here are a few steps you could take to amplify your financial future:

• Establish exactly how much money is coming in and out every month
• Work out a plan and a budget that includes setting funds aside for saving and investing
• Control spending so you don’t spend more than you earn. An overdraft and buying on credit may help raise your lifestyle but they are very costly
• Set up debit orders for your fixed monthly expenses as well as your savings and investment accounts
• Save for unexpected short-term emergencies as well as retirement
• Invest in insurance: life insurance as well as risk cover. Unexpected curveballs are a part of life and being insured helps protect you and your loved ones from financial setbacks
• Guard against making hasty and costly financial decisions in response to volatile markets. Stick to your financial plan and check your investments at set times
• Speak to a certified financial adviser about balancing your investment portfolio so that if the value of some investments dip, others will compensate for this. Avoid having all your assets in one basket. Diversity is key
• Create a ‘life file’ which lists all your accounts, investments, passwords and people to contact about financial and personal affairs
• Get advice on drawing up a will, funeral and other insurance

There is no doubt that a professional adviser will help to ensure that all the essential elements of a financial plan are covered.

Music legends speak out

J Something and Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse were among the legendary artists who shared their wisdom and financial life skills in the sixth episode of the Old Mutual AMPD Live series, now available on YouTube.

Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse stated that his royalties are keeping him alive, but if he had known then what he knows now about money, he would be a billionaire today!

J Something was clearly financially smart from a young age. “The first thing I did with my initial paycheque was to get a retirement annuity. It was nice to know that it was there when I needed it and I was providing for my future,” he says.



Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and is not intended as giving advice.
EB Brokers is an authorised and licensed Short term Insurance provider and we are not authorised to  offer services on Life insurance or investments.
We simply wanted to share this information as there is content displayed that would add value.

Credits for the article goes to- FA News, AMPD Studio’s and John Manyike, head of Financial Education for Old Mutual.


85% of SA wallets hit hard by COVID-19. 10 Tips to spring clean your budget and avoid disaster.



Spring is in the air, and while we get ready to embrace the warm days of summer, we should also brace ourselves for the financial challenges that lie ahead.

A new survey conducted by Debt Rescue revealed that 85% of consumers polled said that their financial situation was adversely affected by Covid-19. 45% of respondents said they’d been affected by either retrenchment, temporary layoffs or salary reductions, with many of them resorting to measures like digging into their savings, relying on credit and applying for payment holidays.

The aftermath of Covid-19 has dealt consumers with a major financial blow. Keeping budgets in check has become more important than ever.
Whether you are still coping, or staring a full-blown crisis in the face, there are quite a few practical things that you can do to spring clean your budget and streamline it to save anything from a couple of hundred to thousands of Rands.

Here are 10 tips  for reviving and refreshing your finances:




 

1.     Update your income and expenses

If the last time you reviewed your budget was in January, consider the significant changes that have taken place since then, like inflation on the cost of goods, energy tariff hikes and the petrol price increases. An up-to-date budget gives you a good idea of where you need to save more, or where you now have a couple of Rands free to pay off debt a bit faster.

2.    Be smart with your spending

It’s not always easy to keep track of your spending, especially when making payments and purchases happens at the tap of a card or a click of the mouse. Luckily, advancements in technology have also made tracking your spending easy too. Take advantage of the various budget planners and apps that are available like MyFinancialLife and Spending Tracker. Also make sure to always shop around first to make sure that you get the best value for money.

3.    Make some changes behind the wheel

There’s nothing you can do about the petrol price increase but there are things you can do to help your tank go further. Did you know that at 110km/h your car uses up to 25% more fuel than it would cruising at a more moderate 90km/h? Add to this: keeping a safe following distance, avoiding harsh braking and acceleration, and regular vehicle maintenance checks, and you could reduce your fuel spend significantly.  According to the Department of Energy in the US, smart driving could increase your fuel economy by as much as 40%!

4.    Update your insurance

Now’s the perfect time to ensure that your home contents insurance is up-to-date. If you’ve bought new items for your home, the amount you’re currently insured for may not be sufficient and you could be underinsured. On the flipside, some items may have devalued, you may have sold items or downsized and may want to reduce your home contents cover, which could save you a substantial amount of money

5.    Delete unnecessary and outdated fees

Are you paying membership fees for a gym you never go to? Fees for a bank account you no longer use? This is wasted money that could be going towards saving or paying off debt, so cancel these to free up extra cash.

6.    Budget for debt repayments

From credit cards to store cards, it’s easy to get carried away buying on credit. Go through all your statements and pay off outstanding debts or at least put a plan in place to do so. It’s a good idea to pay off debt with the highest interest rate first. So if you have a mortgage bond at an interest rate of 10%, a retail card at a rate of 20% and a personal loan at a rate of 25%, pay off the loan first.

7.     Kick bad habits

From piling up paperwork and not keeping accurate records, to slacking on saving, we’ve all done it from time to time but when it becomes a habit, it’s time to take action and make a change. So wherever there are areas to improve, like brushing up on your admin skills or revisiting your saving goals, there’s something that each of us can do to improve our financial health.

8.    Compromise and reprioritise

Those designer sneakers, pricey takeaways and online shopping splurges… they all add up and sometimes that leaves you making compromises where you shouldn’t. So to ensure you have enough money for the things you and your family need first, and then compromise on the things you want – find a more affordable deal, do without the sneakers or have less takeaway meals a month.

9.    Reap from your rewards programmes

Many of us are part of loyalty programmes offered by entities from banks and supermarkets to healthcare providers. Understanding how to make the most out of these programmes is critical to really enjoying their benefits – from earning the most amount of points to receiving the highest possible discount or cash back. Read the terms and conditions and frequently asked questions on the relevant websites to ensure you know exactly how and when you should be rewarded.

10.  Stick to your saving goals

Saving is hard but it’s not impossible!  There are many different ways to save from setting up a monthly debit order to an investment account and opening a tax-free savings account to increasing your pension fund contribution. It’s best to build savings into your budget as a non-negotiable monthly expense, which should help you to be more disciplined and save more.

Implementing simple changes like taking advantage of technology, kicking bad habits and saying goodbye to unnecessary expenses will go a long way to regaining and maintaining control of your budget – putting the spring back in your financial step.


For assistance with your insurance premium savings-  please call our office on 031-5021922 or visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za.

 

Article source – iafrica.com, written by Susan Steward of Budget Insurance

South Africa’s criminals have a new target



Criminals in South Africa have locked on to a target following the popularity of online ordering in a post Covid-19 environment – couriers.

 

An increase in courier vehicle theft has followed hot on the heels of the increase in online shopping under lockdown.

According to Statista’s market and consumer data, the eCommerce industry in South Africa is expected to reach approximately R62 million in revenue in 2020 and grow by 10% each year.

And with a projected total of 31.6 million local users by 2024, it’s clear that online shopping is fast becoming the way forward. Unfortunately, criminals have identified courier companies and vehicles as easy targets.

“We have noticed a spike in courier vehicle theft. In a few of these cases, the vehicles have been recovered but the goods are missing. The fact that the majority of these vans and vehicles are being taken by force or in armed robberies and hijackings is of great concern.

Theft of courier vehicles in Gauteng is markedly higher than in any other province, and currently poses a significant and growing risk.

The times at which delivery/courier vehicles are most often stolen are generally ‘off-peak’ traffic hours, with 6% of total thefts occurring between 3-4 AM, 8% between 10-11 AM and 6% between 3-4 PM.

Tracking firm Netstar also pointed to an increase in the numbers. The trend, it said, is to loot the vehicle and leave it behind in the form of a hit and run.

Netstar said that criminals generally target before close of business, as the vehicles travelling at night are normally returning to the depot and they are in most cases empty.

The red zone is typically the first few hours of the day when vehicles are followed from the depot. Employees should be extra vigilant during this time and routes should be varied so that there is no predictable route.

Here are some safety tips for online shoppers:

  • Make sure that you know which courier company will be making a delivery and when they will do so, just to ensure that you are fully alert and prepared.
  • Include clear instructions to the courier company for when they reach your home to avoid them spending extended periods of time outside the property, making them an easy target.
  • If security alerts have been issued in your area, share these with the courier company.
  • Pick the most secure spot available for collection of the parcel and signing of the delivery receipt – ideally one that isn’t publicly accessible.
  • When collecting a parcel, always keep an eye out for suspicious individuals or vehicles. Alert the courier driver and authorities if anything is amiss and do not open your gate unless it’s 100% safe to do so.

Don’t forget to insure your parcel or to take out Goods In transit insurance. For assistance phone 031-5021922 or visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za

 

Photo Credits: ACT Logistics
Article featured in Ofm by Alex Terblanche, head of Budget Business

10 Tips for households and businesses to mitigate against damage caused by load-shedding



 

1.     1. Unplug appliances and sensitive equipment: It is always a good idea to unplug appliances or any other sensitive equipment or electronic devices that may be vulnerable to power surges. The list of items that could be affected include cell phones, laptops, desktop computers, servers and LCD screens, all of which could be badly damaged when the power comes back on due to a spike in electricity flow. It is advisable that commercial clients install inverters to power critical equipment such as cash registers and point of sale equipment as well as UPS protection or surge protection on sensitive electronic equipment.

2. Beware your generator: It is critical that generators are never used inside a home or enclosed workplace area as the emissions can cause asphyxiation. The heat from the generator or a faulty connection to your home’s power supply can also cause fire damage, which would not be covered as this would likely be deemed as negligence. Ensure that generators are installed by qualified electricians and that they issue you with an electrical compliance certificate. Generators that switch on automatically can also pose an increased risk and must be carefully managed.

3.     3. Test your alarm system: During load shedding, alarm power packs and batteries may wear out faster, resulting in reduced functionality. This may also cause alarm systems to produce false alarm signals or even to malfunction altogether. Many insurance policies require that you perform an annual or bi-annual alarm system check, which must be logged by your security company to ensure that it is in proper working order and that the battery is still functional. Failure to do so could impact your claim. You should also ensure that all alarm peripherals have fresh batteries if a wireless alarm system is being used.

4.     4. Install reserve power: To ensure that electric fencing and gates still work during load shedding, reserve batteries should be installed and maintained. While reserve batteries generally last for six to eight hours when the power goes out, load shedding dramatically decreases a battery’s lifespan, so it is incredibly important that these are tested or replaced, especially if the policyholder is planning to go away or shut down over a holiday period. Backup batteries are particularly important for commercial premises as their alarm systems typically require more power which necessitates the use of heavy-duty batteries. Clients with stock that requires continuous cold storage should consider installing back-up generators with an automated system that informs them of a power outage so that mitigating steps can be taken.

5.     5. Secure your premises: In the event that the power goes out, homeowners and commercial building owners are advised to ensure that their properties are locked up and adequately secured to reduce the risk of opportunistic theft. Not only will this reduce the risk of the theft occurring, but it will also make the claims process a lot easier in the event that a theft or robbery occurs.

6.     6. Be vigilant: Because the load shedding timetables are open to the public, criminals unfortunately may see blackouts as an opportune time to undertake illegal activities. As such, extra vigilance is required, particularly when arriving at or leaving one’s home or commercial premises during the evening. Keep a torch in your car should you arrive home in the dark and need to open your perimeter security gate manually.

7.     7. Light up your premises: Using solar power or battery-operated lighting to light up your premises can reduce the chance of opportunistic crime occurring. However, be sure to keep all such items fully charged.

8.     8. Review your insurance policies: Policyholders need to review the wording in their policies to see what is covered in the event of loss or damage to the contents of a home or building during a blackout. Policyholders are advised to speak to their insurance brokers about any additional cover that may be needed.

9.     9. Follow the load shedding schedule: Rather switch off sensitive equipment in a managed and planned way, particularly if you know that your area is likely to experience load shedding at a particular time. Some equipment that uses heat in the manufacturing process (e.g. plastic extrusion) can be damaged if not switched off properly.

 

Be positive and hang in there: We have been through this before, so we know what the risks are and how to mitigate them. All we need to do now is buckle down and execute to mitigate the impact on our lives and businesses.



Information provided courtesy of  Christelle Colman Old Mutual as it appeared in moneymarketing.co.za


Product recall on batch of Liqui Fruit grape juice


A six pack of the product, with specific batch numbers, that are being recalled by Pioneer Foods.



Pioneer Foods has received reports of small shards of glass in a single batch of their Liqui Fruit Red Grape still 330ml cans.

The company says an investigation as to the root cause and extent of the issue is underway but as a precautionary measure, they are conducting a product recall.

The recall is of a particular single batch of Liqui Fruit Red Grape 330ml cans, with the following product and best before details;



If you have purchased any of these products, it must not be consumed and also not be disposed of.

The product can be returned to the place of purchase for a full refund.

For more information on the recall visit Pioneer Foods

For assistance and/or service with regards to Product recall insurance please give us a call or visit our website 031-5021922 or www.esbrokers.co.za

 

Article courtesy of Algoa FM 7 September 2020