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Be Cyber Alert

20 December 2018

December is a prime time for virus, malware (malicious software) and phishing emails because people are busy and it's easy to get distracted. While there are gifts to be purchased, food to be prepared and parties to be attended, we recommend that you remain vigilant with emails to ensure your computers and data are protected.

Here are some things to remember:

  • Always ask yourself why you have received an email. If the email is about an organisation, service or process that you don’t recognise and haven’t done business with, be suspicious. If you don’t have Facebook attached to your business email address, then it’s likely any emails from ‘Facebook’ to the business email are likely phishing emails and not to be trusted.
  • Never click a link you haven’t checked and always hover over links to look for the end of the address. If the address ends in something unrecognisable, or is unrelated to the company it claims to be from, you should be suspicious of the email.  Eg if the email was from the Commonwealth Bank links should end in ‘commbank.com.au’, rather than something like ‘commbank.xy’. If you were to click this link, the email will probably try to infect your computer.  AGL, AusPost, CBA, Westpac, Xero, MYOB are all examples of companies that have been ‘brand-jacked’.  Always check the link, if in doubt don’t click!
  • Look for anything inconsistent in the formatting or presentation of the email. Too many mistakes or things that look ‘off’ raise the likelihood of the email being dangerous.
  • ATO email scams (and mobile phone voicemail scams) are on the rise. The real ATO will always identify themselves and give you an easily confirmed phone number from the ATO website, and not a random 08 number from Adelaide
  • If any email message seems too desperate or last minute, act cautiously, and preferably check verbally. Phishers will send ‘URGENT’ emails in the last few days before the Christmas shutdown to try to trick you while you’re preoccupied
  • Stay vigilant and have a happy and (cyber) safe Christmas!

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