Online (Cyber) Fraud is on the rise and includes any type of fraudulent scheme that uses email, websites, chatrooms or message boards to carry out fraudulent acts against prospective victims.

With the growing use of cloud based programs and apps in everyday business and personal life, you are increasingly exposing your personal information and device to cyber fraud.

Here are the types of cyber fraud and safeguards you can put in place to protect yourselves.

You are exposed or at risk to the following types of cyber fraud and scams (this is not an exhaustive list):

– Internet banking fraud;

– Shopping and auction site fraud;

– Phishing scams;

– Spam; and

– Identity theft.

We have seen the impact on businesses and individuals when they are victims of cyber fraud and it can take quite a period of time to retrieve data, restore systems and put protective safeguards in place.

For example, a “harmless” email is clicked on and the user is locked out of their computer and data and they have to pay $$ to the hacker to unlock their systems. This caused a complete slowdown of their business and minimal work could be done until the hacker was paid off. This also occurred during one of their busiest times of the year.

There are safeguards you can put in place to protect your business, your clients and customers and yourself against cyber fraud. This includes but is not limited to:

– Policies and procedures surrounding protecting online software passwords.

– Using strong passwords and keeping the passwords safe.

– Educating employees regarding spam and suspect emails.

– Not forwarding sensitive information through email unless the email is encrypted.

– Install computer anti-virus software and kept up to date.

– Use two step authentication apps for all cloud based programs that allow it (eg. Xero, MYOB and Trello). This requires the use of a password plus a 6 digit pin to access your data.

Also speak to your insurance broker for advice on Cyber Insurance and how this can help protect you and your business from cyber risks.

If you are a victim of identity theft, you should take the following actions:

– Report the fraudulent transactions to your bank.

– Set up a new online banking account (if your original account has been compromised).

– Report the fraud to the police.

– If you suspect that your TFN has been compromised, you can contact the ATO and they will look out for any suspicious activity on your account.

– Order a Credit Report to get a list of all your bank accounts, loans and credit cards (you can then match this up against your known accounts and report any accounts that a hacker has set up using your identity).

If you would like to learn more, the team at EMspire Advisory can help. Feel free to contact us today!

Please note that this information is not specific and is general in nature and cannot be relied on as advice. Please contact us for advice specific to you and your circumstances.