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Cyber Security Tips

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Cyber security tips to stay safe

Cyber Security has become a top priority for everyone who uses the internet. With the increasing use of digital technology, cyber threats like phishing, hacking, and malware attacks are becoming more sophisticated and targeting individuals, students, and businesses alike. It is crucial for Australians to understand the potential risks and take steps to protect themselves online.

Additional Information and Resources

To learn more about the risks of cyber-attacks and how to protect yourself online, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) provides a wealth of resources, including tips, guides, and reports. Stay Smart Online is another government website that provides practical advice and resources on how to stay safe online.

Real-life Examples of Cyber Attacks in Australia

Optus Data Breach

Date: September 2022

Impact: 9.8 million customers

Cybercriminals believed to be working for a state-sponsored operation breached Optus’ internal network, compromising personal information impacting up to 9.8 million customers. According to Optus CEO Kelly Bayer, the oldest records in the compromised database could date as far back as 2017.

Personal information included in this compromised data set includes:

It’s speculated that the criminal group gained access through an unauthorised API endpoint, meaning a user/password or any other authentication method wasn’t required to connect to the API.

Medibank Breach

Date: October 2022

Impact: 9.7 million customers

In October, Medibank went public with news that it suffered a cyber incident. Turns out it was a lot worse than Medibank first thought with the data on 9.7 million customers caught up in the massive breach.

The private health insurer told shareholders on October 12 it had fallen victim to a ‘cyber incident’. It said that in response to this incident, the organisation took immediate steps to contain it, and engaged specialised cybersecurity firms.

At the time, Medibank said there was no evidence that any sensitive data, including in a statement issued via the ASX on October 19, Medibank said it has received messages from a group that “wishes to negotiate with the company regarding their alleged removal of customer data”. This negotiation was the hackers threatening to release the private medical information of high-profile Australians if a ransom wasn’t paid.

Then, on November 9, it was confirmed data had been leaked.

The hackers, who claimed to have spent a month rummaging around Medibank’s systems, posted what they’ve called “naughty” and “nice” lists of health records, with the “naughty” list including people who’ve sought treatment for things like addiction and eating disorders. And they claim they’ve only started releasing the stolen information.

Good Guys

Date: January 2023

Impact: 1.5 million customers

Millions of customers of leading Australian electronics store The Good Guys have had their personal data accessed when a third-party supplier was hacked.

Names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of 1.5 million “Concierge” members who were part of The Good Guys rewards system were accessed, the company said.

In about 15,000 cases, customers who provided their date of birth had the information hacked and the passwords of 325,000 customers who had created a My Rewards account as Concierge members were also stolen.

The cyber-attack on Pegasus Group Australia Pty Ltd, which is now known as My Rewards Pty Ltd was likely to have happened in August 2021, a spokesperson for the electronic store said, adding it had only become aware of the incident this month.

Conclusion

Cyber security is essential for everyone who uses the internet. By following these top cyber security tips and taking proactive measures, Australians can protect themselves online and reduce the risk of falling victim to cyber-attacks. Remember to keep your software and devices up to date, use strong and unique passwords, enable two-factor authentication, avoid suspicious links and emails, and back up your important data. Act today and implement these tips to stay safe online.

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FAQ

Some of the most important cyber security tips for Australians include using strong and unique passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, keeping software and devices updated, avoiding suspicious links and emails, and backing up important data.
You can protect yourself from cyber-attacks by following cyber security best practices, such as using strong and unique passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, keeping software and devices updated, avoiding suspicious links and emails, and backing up important data. It is also important to stay informed about the latest threats and vulnerabilities and to exercise caution when using the internet.

The most common types of cyber-attacks in Australia include phishing attacks, ransomware attacks, malware attacks, and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. These attacks can result in the theft of sensitive information, financial losses, and other damages.

To create a strong and unique password, use a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using common words or personal information and use a different password for each account.
Two-factor authentication is a security feature that adds an extra layer of protection to your accounts. It works by requiring a second form of verification, such as a code sent to your phone or email, in addition to your password. This helps to prevent unauthorised access to your accounts even if your password is compromised.
To keep your software and devices updated, enable automatic updates if available. Alternatively, check for updates regularly and install them promptly. This will help to ensure that your devices are protected against known vulnerabilities.
To spot and avoid suspicious links and emails, be cautious of clicking on links or opening attachments from unknown or suspicious sources. Look out for red flags such as grammatical errors, urgent requests, and suspicious sender email addresses. If in doubt, contact the sender to verify the authenticity of the email or link.
You can back up your important data by using an external hard drive, cloud storage, or other backup solutions. It is important to back up your data regularly and to store it securely to protect against data loss in case of a cyber-attack.
To protect your personal information online, use strong and unique passwords, enable two-factor authentication, avoid sharing sensitive information online, and be cautious of phishing scams and suspicious links and emails.
If you suspect that you have been a victim of a cyber-attack, take immediate action to protect your accounts and personal information. This may include changing your passwords, contacting your financial institutions, and reporting the incident to the relevant authorities. It is also important to keep a record of any suspicious activity and to seek help from a cyber security expert if needed.
About Author
Ahmed Khanji

Ahmed Khanji

Ahmed Khanji is the CEO of Gridware, a leading cybersecurity consultancy based in Sydney, Australia...

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Published May 25, 2023

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