Australians are losing more money than ever to scams.
Last year, I wrote in this very Directors’ Column about the dangers of scams and was shocked to read about the significant increase in cyber attacks during COVID-19.
Sadly, cyber crime continues to creep upwards in Australia, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) estimating it cost our economy $33 billion in 2021 alone. Australia is now in the top five countries around the world to be targeted by scams, meaning more attacks are on the horizon.
Here at Bank First, we’re acutely aware of current and emerging threats and our team works closely with the best in the business to ensure your data is secure. Some of the precautions we have in place include data encryption, two-factor authentication and if we see something abnormal, you’ll receive a call from one of our friendly staff to check in.
But, as the saying goes, prevention is often better than a cure. To help keep you and your data secure, I wanted to share our top three tips to staying safe:
- Update your devices to protect important information
These days, some of our most valuable information is stored on our devices. Ensuring software updates from either the Google Play or Apple Store are completed as soon as possible will help to plug any gaps that cyber criminals may try to find. It’s also useful to make sure you have installed active virus protection on your devices from a reputable company.
- Never give a stranger access to your computer or phone
Whether it’s someone calling you and asking to remotely repair your computer or a strange link that’s popped up in a text message, giving someone access to your computer can allow a cyber criminal full access to all your important data. If you receive an unexpected text or email with a link – delete the message and contact the organisation sending the message via their official website or phone number.
- Beware of any requests for money or personal details
It may seem simplistic, but scammers are experts in hiding their true intentions. If someone you don’t personally know asks for money transfers, phone numbers, ID numbers or credit cards, it’s usually best to assume that they don’t have your best interest at heart. Some scammers may also ask the victim to purchase gift cards as a form of ‘payment’, but beware – this is just another way of stealing money from you.