Cyber Security

Staying Cyber Safe

With the striking increase in scams and hacks, we are here to offer you some key information to help keep your devices safe, and you safe, whilst online. This page is all about the important topic of Cyber Security. We know that it can be confusing at times navigating the cyber world of technology so we will keep it simple.  Skip your social media surfing for the next ½ hour and read up on how to stay Cyber Safe.

 

 Current Concerns

The 2022 Optus Hack threw many people into a frenzy.  But if you were not contacted by Optus saying your data was breached there is no need to take any further action.  Click HERE to get the latest updates from Optus about the breach.

There are also a number of Scams doing the rounds at the moment via text and email.  Delete both of these (or anything similar) if you receive them.


What is a Scam or a Hack?

 A scam is when someone contacts you personally via an email, a phonecall or a text and asks you (tricks you) to take some action.  This could be clicking a link, giving them access to your computer or phoning a number.  The action taken inevitably leads to them gaining access to your finances, or you sending them money directly as you believe it to be legitimate. 

 

A hack is when someone uses their technical skills to breach the security you have on your account, or your device, to access your personal information or your finances.  There is no personal contact or notification of this as it is done directly into an account.

 

How to Stay Cyber Safe

 

Just like home security, you can never be 100% foolproof in keeping out those that are desperate to get in. But you can take some basic actions which deter most cyber scammers and hackers and give you some protection and peace of mind.

 

AWARENESS – the very best way to stay ahead of the scammers is to understand how they work and what to look for – so that you don’t fall for their tricks if they do come a calling! Aussie Broadband have posted clear, and detailed, information on the various types of scams:  phone, text and email.  Have a read at these 2 links.  (Its only about 10 mins reading – and well worth it!)

 

BANKING – For all banking and financial accounts make sure you have Multi (2) Factor Authentication (MFA) turned on if available.  (check with your bank)

 

PASSWORD MANAGER – The best way to keep track of all your passwords is with a Password Manager.  DO NOT keep them in your head, a little pocket book or in the ‘safety’ of your ‘tech person’ who may be your son, daughter, neighbour or uncle.

Document your account passwords and, *we suggest Dashlane as a Password Manager. We have been using this App for over 4 years and it has proven invaluable in managing the security of our passwords.  They also now have a Family feature so you can manage passwords across multiple devices, and family members, for around $100 AU / year.

 

PASSWORDS – Create strong passwords – using random letters, numbers and special characters, which you update from time to time. Keep your passwords different from each other and delete any accounts that you no longer use. 

 

VPN – A Virtual Private Network – This is an extra security measure gained from an App which hosts your connection to the internet privately. This means that hackers searching / tracking the internet looking for access into accounts – cannot see you online at all. This is essential if you are often using public wi-fi connections in airports, cafes or libraries, which are less secure.  We *suggest using Express VPN , at a reasonable price for security at around $120 AU / year per user with protection for up to 5 devices.  If you have more than 5 devices, you can add additional 5 device licence subscriptions to your account to cover all of your devices. You can even install a VPN on a compatible router to cover off unlimited devices on your network.

 

If you prefer to try before you buy, we recommend a look  at Proton VPN Free. Proton Free has a few limitations imposed, but works well as aVPN and will give you a great feel of how a VPN can assist your online activities.  There are many benefits of using a VPN, so if you are interested, check it out!

 

Backups – Backups don’t prevent a Scammer or Hacker BUT they do provide you with the best security for when your device is damaged (think coffee spill or flood damage) or the hard drive fails or you accidently delete or lose something. iDevices can be automatically backed up via iCloud and Mac computers can be automatically backed up to an external hard drive using Time Machine.  You just need to set these backups up to know that your valuable data will be retrievable, no matter what. 

 

*These suggestions are recommendations from our experience, we are not affiliated with these companies and do not receive any money from any purchase you may make with them.  Feel free to do your own independent research and choose services which will best suit your requirements.

 

If you think you’ve been scammed or hacked, wish to setup a backup, or want to know more about Password Managers and VPN.  Come into store for a chat.

Stay Cyber Safe everyone.

“I love Mullum Mac. They provide a really professional service. This is my go to place when I have any Mac issues.”

Melenie Maher