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  • Ania Cietrzewska

The importance of cybersecurity

Updated: Jan 29

In today’s world, there is an ever-increasing reliance on internet banking and transfers. Although the convenience of these transactions is evident, it involves significant risk. In recent years, Australia has seen more cyber fraud than ever before. Between 2021-22, 13.2 million Australians were exposed to a scam. 505,500 of these were due to online impersonation, also referred to as “phishing”.

 

The purpose of this article is to provide you with tips to help protect you against online scams and cyber fraud.

 

1.    Always confirm bank details

 

When transferring funds to a company or person, it is important to always confirm bank details received by email over the phone. Do not rely on the phone number provided to you on an invoice that has been emailed to you. It is best to search online to confirm the phone number of the company before calling the company to verify their account details.

 

It is our firm’s practice to confirm a party’s bank account details by email AND telephone. This protects against fraudulent transactions.

 

2.    Recognise and avoid phishing scams

 

Phishing is a scamming practice that focuses on tricking you into sharing sensitive information or installing malware onto your device. Phishing can be done via texts, emails, and phone calls.

 

With more technological advances, scammers are becoming more sophisticated. Common sense is key. If something feels off, it most likely is. Does the company email end with @gmail.com even though previous emails ended with @companyname.com.au? Does the email end with @inbox.ru or @randomletters&numbers.com? Does the text message require you to provide a TFN number to myGov, yet that message is delivered differently than previous myGov messages?

 

Avoid opening links and attachments that you did not expect to receive.

You should also be wary of people purporting to be from government offices or banks that request your personal and sensitive information. Your bank will never ask you for important passwords or codes that have been sent to your mobile to verify your identity.

 

Instead, we recommend advising the caller that you will return their call after you have verified the telephone number that they have called you from.

 

3.    Avoid rushing

 

In a fast-paced digital economy, we all need to be extra cautious in order to protect ourselves. Scammers love creating urgency. Pay this now! Invest your money now! We need your details now or else … you will miss out on our deal! Take a step back and consider the information you have been provided. Remember that it is more important to protect your identity and money than urgently deal with the transfer of funds.

 

In summary, scams are on the rise. You should be alert and ask for assistance if you are concerned about an email or telephone call that you have received.

 

The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. This information should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice.

 

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