The lead-up to Christmas and New Year is always one of Australia’s busiest times for online activity.
Given the significant spike in online shopping and digital transactions taking place – from computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones – it’s no surprise that cyber-criminals are also highly active. Sometimes deviously subtle, sometimes remarkably bold, these are all manner of scams and threats to be aware of to protect yourself, your staff and your business as a whole.
While the constantly-changing nature of cyber threats means no list can ever be exhaustive, we have compiled a list of seven tips for minimising the risks this festive season, based on the advice provided by the Australian Cyber Security Centre.
Note: As an added benefit, most of these tips will protect you year-round too!
Tip 1: Buy Only From Trusted Sites
Whether you’re purchasing something online for personal or business purposes, it’s always a good idea to cross-check information on the seller’s website to make sure you’re dealing with the official seller.
Cybercriminals are very active this time of year and can create a fake site impersonating the real site to get money or personal information from you.
Tip 2: Pay Securely
If you are purchasing something online and they ask you to pay via direct bank deposit, more often than not, it’s a cybercriminal. Always use secure payment methods like PayPal, Bpay or credit card, which come with in-built fraud protection.
This differs from direct bank deposits and money transfers, where you are unlikely to get your money back if you get scammed.
Tip 3: Be Wary of Online Auctions
Online auctions can be used to secure a great deal, but they also attract plenty of cybercriminals.
One of the most common auction scams is when cybercriminals offer you an item you’ve unsuccessfully bid on outside of the auction site. Then, once you’ve paid, you don’t hear from them again.
Tip 4: Be Cautious of Fake Delivery Scams
In the lead up to Christmas, thousands of fake parcel delivery notifications get sent out by email and SMS pretending to be from legitimate parcel delivery services. However, you need to be careful as they try to trick you into downloading malware or giving away your personal and financial details.
To check if you think it’s a scam, you can look at the sender’s email. If it’s a cybercriminal, the email address won’t be from a parcel delivery service such as Australia Post, DHL or FedEx.
Tip 5: Change Your Passwords
It’s a great cyber practice to use strong and unique passwords and update them regularly, even more so at Christmas time when cybercriminals are very active. Also, consider using more challenging security questions & multi-factor authentication so they can’t guess easily and hack into your accounts. Also consider multi-factor authentication.
Tip 6: Protect Your Network
Ensure all of your network devices have up-to-date antivirus and anti-malware protection and that it’s running and not disabled. Where employees connect their personal devices to your network, this can greatly increase the chance of security breaches, so be sure to have clear policies explaining what is and isn’t acceptable.
Tip 7: Use Secure Wi-Fi Only
With more and more Australians working remotely, Wi-Fi security is becoming a major risk.
While most in-house company networks are secure, external Wi-Fi can be a very different story. Typically unsecured, you and your team need to be careful when sharing sensitive personal or financial information over these networks.
In a Nutshell
If you’re worried about the security of your network and cyber information, consult with the team at allinsure to learn more about cyber insurance. With more and more businesses moving online, having cyber insurance is critical to keeping your business and employees’ assets covered.