While spending our time online offers us all great digital customer experiences, It’s important that we do everything we can to help you protect your privacy.
LEARN HOW TO SPOT A SCAM
There are 6 common types of scam that we all need to be aware of; remote access scams, romance & dating scams, Job scams, investment scams, SMS & email scams and finally, scams that target business. Others may also include correspondence telling you of unexpected money or winnings.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has some great advice on how to look out for these types of sneaky approaches to steal your personal details. You can read more here.
HOW TO AVOID IDENTITY THEFT
What is identity theft and how can I avoid it?
Identity theft is when someone uses your personal information to pretend to be you, usually to carry out fraudulent activity such as trying to access your bank accounts or opening a credit card account in your name.
You can improve the protection of your identity with these tips:
- Create strong, secure passwords, and change them regularly.
- Be suspicious of unexpected or unusual emails.
- Make sure your bank has your up-to-date contact details so they can get in touch quickly if they see any unusual activity on your accounts.
- If throwing out any personal or financial information such as bank statements or bills, shred or destroy them. If filing them away, make sure they are kept in a secure place in your home/office.
CONSIDER YOUR DIGITAL FOOTPRINT
The best way to protect yourself against online identity theft is to limit the ‘digital crumbs’ a stranger can gather about you. This means being careful about putting personal information such as your home address, phone number or account details on public forums and social networks.
Why don’t you try checking your ‘digital footprint’ now? Just log out of all of your social media accounts and then look up your name in a search engine and assess the results.
MANAGING YOUR COOKIES
But first, what are cookies?
Cookies are text files that are downloaded to your computer or mobile device when you visit a website. When you’re browsing, cookies gather information about how you use the website.
Cookies can be useful as they help you have an enriched and more personalised experience online by allowing sites to track your preferences as you browse. From time to time, it’s a good idea to check that you’re comfortable with what cookies your desktop or device has collected.
You can usually manage your cookies and browsing history via your web browser.
SPOT THE SIGNS TO SEE IF YOUR IDENTITY HAS BEEN STOLEN?
Some signs of identity theft could be receiving bills for goods and services you didn’t buy or use. You might also notice you’ve stopped receiving expected mail, which could mean it’s being stolen from your mailbox or your mailing address has been fraudulently changed. If any of these are the case contact your local police immediately.
HOW TO KNOW IF THE WEBSITE YOU’RE VISITING IS SECURE
In the search bar where you type the web address, it should begin with 'https' (the addition of the s in the http stands for 'secure') and a closed padlock icon in the address window when you are about to make a transaction on a shopping site. This indicates that the communication between your device and the shopping site is encrypted (unable to easily be intercepted or read). Whenever you are about to log in to an online platform where you have private account details such as your Aurora energy account, bank account, phone account, check that your browser address window is green and that a closed padlock icon appears in the address window.
The Australian Cyber Security Centre for the Australian Government has some easy steps they recommend to help you secure your information online.
Check to see if your online security practices stack up with this 60 minute Cyber Safety Challenge. (Credit to the team at Commbank for inspiring us!)
With the growth of online banking, security has grown to become one of the industry's top focuses. And now with more and more of us doing more and more of our day to day life admin online, there is always more we could be doing to keep ourselves, and our information safe online. Here's what the team at Commonwealth bank came up with:
- Check if your passwords have been stolen in (known) data breaches. Type in the email address you use to sign up for online services at https://haveibeenpwned.com
- Set up two-step verification for access to your online accounts, where available. This will require you to enter a short code sent to your mobile device after you’ve typed in your username and passphrase.
- Scrap passwords. Replace them with passphrases. Passphrases beat passwords for length and complexity, and computers trump humans for remembering them. So maybe try out a Password Manager?
- Switch on automatic updates for your web browser(s). Your browser is your first line of defence against many online threats.
- Back up your data – keep backups both online and offline. You can never be too careful.
- (Still awake?) Time to update your operating system. This, we admit, might take some time. So go get some fresh air - you’ve done great.
And remember, if you are unsure, we're here to help.
We teamed up with the Alannah and Madeline Foundation to help keep Tassie kids safe online!