Safeguard your personal information to protect yourself against online fraud and scam activity. The holiday season sees higher Cyber security crime as people spend more time online buying goods and services. Now is a good time to review your Cyber Security and be safe in your online dealings.
The Australian Cyber Security Centre receives one cybercrime event report every ten minutes. The most common of these are identity theft, online fraud, shopping scams, online romance scams and business email compromise. Both individuals and businesses are targeted.
Don’t wait for a cybercriminal to steal your identity – take control of your online identity now.
How can I protect myself?
- Set your social media to private. Cybercriminals can piece together info from your social media and all over the internet to steal your identity. Check the privacy settings on your devices, apps and social media so that you’re only sharing information with people you know.
- Use a strong and different password for each of your online accounts. Passwords are the first line of defence against cybercriminals. Don’t use the same password or variations of it on multiple accounts. Cybercriminals may access all of your accounts by only guessing one password. Use strong, longer passwords with a mix of special characters, numbers, capital letters and lower case letters.
- Never provide your details via a link in a message. Scam messages are one of the most common ways cybercriminals try to steal your information online. Always type in the website detail and log in from there.
- Turn on a two-factor authentication wherever you can. You are then required to provide your password as well as a code sent to your mobile device or your fingerprint.
- Do not click on a link or download an attachment without first ensuring that it was sent by a legitimate sender by calling them, using a phone number you know, or have looked up independently of the email. Do not rely on the phone number on the email itself.
Be aware of online scams
If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Scammers set up online stores disguised as legitimate retailers offering luxury items at very low prices. After an item is sold they either send out a fake item or no item at all.
Social media is often used by scammers as a way to pose as legitimate sellers. Sellers claim that they are travelling and someone else will send the goods out once you have paid. When you don’t receive the goods you will be unable to contact the seller.
Some warning signs are extremely low advertised prices, requests to pay through bank transfer or bitcoin.
During any type of dealing with anyone, it is very unusual that there would be a change to any bank account details. It should be a strong danger signal to you if you do receive an email advising you of a sudden, often last minute, change in account details. When dealing with money; always verbally confirm by telephone or face-to-face, the amount, account number and details.
The electronic world makes a lot of things easier than before….but the risks involved are drastically increased when you are using email and internet, especially when it involves payment or transfer of monies.
If you suspect that you have been a victim of online fraud, you should contact your bank immediately.