Scams continue to be the easiest way criminals trick people into providing access to their accounts or transferring money. A recent post from Scam Watch reports a 160% increase in myGov scams in January 2023 compared to the previous month. Don’t be fooled though if it’s not myGov, scams are essentially always the same under different guises. Whether it be from myGov, Linkt, or a fake message from a family member in an emergency asking for money, always take your time to confirm the legitimacy of the request or claim.
scamwatch.gov.au continues to be a leading source of information regarding the latest scams and ways to protect yourself. You can even subscribe to scam alert emails. If you are ever unsure about a potential scam and wish to get a second opinion, feel free to give us a call on 1300 362 216 or email email@example.com.
With the increasing number of scams and criminal activity occurring online, we have put together some simple but effective security measures that you can do yourself to ensure that you stay safe online and protect yourself against scammers and cyber criminals.
Use passwords that incorporate letters (uppercase and lowercase), numbers and symbols. The longer the password, the better. There are freely accessible password generators that you can use to create a password that is more secure.
Use unique passwords for each site and service that you access and avoid reusing passwords that you have used in the past. This means that if one of your online accounts is compromised, you can be confident that your other accounts are still secure. It is good practice however to regularly update your passwords, regardless of whether your accounts have been compromised or not.
Use a secure password manager
Don’t write down or keep copies of your account usernames and/or passwords on a post-it note, in a diary or any item or place that could be easily lost or stolen and used to access your accounts. Instead, do your best to memorise your passwords or use a secure password-storage service.
Use Two-factor authentication
Where available, it is recommended that you use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). 2FA adds an extra layer of security to your online account by requiring a second method to verify your identity, in addition to your username and password. Using your mobile number or an authentication app on your smartphone as the secondary authentication method means that even if someone obtained your account username and password and attempted to login, a unique authentication code (via SMS or the smartphone app) will still be required to successfully login.
Keep documents safe
A lot of identity fraud still begins with the theft of documents, from the mailbox or bin. Limit the amount of mail you receive that contains sensitive information (such as bills and statements) and dispose of these documents carefully. Did you know that you can swap to online MOVE Bank statements at any time by selecting ‘Online Statements’ from the ‘Accounts’ menu in your Internet Banking.
Online scammers can replicate websites, emails, and other online content. Always look for a familiar URL or email address before clicking links or submitting forms. If you are ever unsure, contact your service provider directly and ask them to verify the communication you received.
This blog post is for general information purposes only and is not intended as financial or professional advice. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product or other professional advice. You should seek your own independent financial, legal and taxation advice before making any decision about any action in relation to the material in this article.