The steps you have to follow if you want to protect your finances online.
This article has been reproduced from Quantum Financial’s July 2017 Investing Insights Report – Unlocking the Covfefe Code. If are interested in our advice services and you would like a full copy of the 42 page research report, please contact us.
At Quantum Financial we are more than aware that the risk of hackers obtaining your personal financial details has increased in recent years. We deliberately only work with reputable, large companies and financial institutions who invest significantly in their cyber security. This helps protect your confidential information.
Below we summarise 10 important steps you can take today to mitigate online risks.
1. Ensure ALL your devices (PC, laptop, phones, tablets, etc) have the latest available upgrades. If you’re not sure how to do this, type “Check for update” into the search function of your device. This will keep your security updates current.
2. Ensure you have up-to-date anti-virus and malware protection software (irrespective of your device). Reputable providers of this software include Norton, McAfee, etc
3. Check your transaction statements (online or paper copy) closely and regularly. Question any transactions you don’t recognise.
4. If any institution contacts you in an unsolicited manner and they ask you for proof of your ID and you recognise the name of the provider, tell them you will call them back. If you don’t recognise the name then contact Quantum Financial and we can chat about it. If the provider is related to Quantum Financial, then definitely call us. If it is not related to Quantum Financial, look up their official phone number on their website, get your account number from your paperwork (which they will need to identify you) and call them back.
5. If you receive an email asking you to do something, contact Quantum Financial. Do not click on any links or documents until you have spoken to us. It doesn’t matter how real the email looks, give us a call to discuss it before you click or open anything.
6. If given the choice, use two-step authentication (2SA) (eg when an SMS code is sent to your mobile to confirm a transaction)
7. Regularly change your passwords and PINs. Don’t make them easy to guess.
8. Avoid transacting on someone else’s wi-fi who you don’t 100% trust. Instead use your smartphone on your mobile network.
9. Don’t share personal details on social media sites.
10. Be mindful of the security for your traditional mail. Consider a locked post box or a PO Box and if your mail ever stops arriving, investigate.
Did you know? Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, had his email hacked because his email password was ‘password’. These are among the very worst passwords – password, 123456, qwerty, login, welcome, admin, password1, passw0rd.
Did you know? IDCARE (www.idcare.org) is Australia and New Zealand’s national identity and cyber support service. They can help you if you are concerned about breaches of your personal information. They don’t provide legal advice but they can advise and advocate on your behalf.
If you suspect you have been hacked in some way, here are the 10 immediate steps to take:
1. Contact Quantum Financial on 02 8084 0453.
2. Contact IDCARE on 1300 432 273.
3. Contact your financial institutions (we will contact those institutions we manage on your behalf after you call us) to let them know that your personal details have been compromised.
4. Determine which details you think have been placed at risk (eg bank account details, utility bills, your ID such as licence details, social media accounts, etc)
5. Work with IDCARE and Quantum Financial to develop your tailored response plan. This will help you regain control of your financial life and get your family back on track.
6. If you have been electronically hacked, then immediately turn off the internet (turn off your modem/router).
7. Delete all cookies and your browser history (Google ‘Delete cookies’ and ‘Delete browser history’). How you do this will be different for every device and every browser you use. If you’re unsure how to do this, take it to an IT specialist.
8. Run a complete virus scan. If necessary, re-install software including your operating system.
9. Re-connect to the internet but ensure your virus scan is constantly running.
10. Reset all your passwords and PINs with your financial institutions.
If you are really fearful that hackers have compromised your financial data, there are 5 more detailed steps that you can take:
1. Call your telecommunications provider, explain you’ve been hacked and ask to have tighter security added to your account (Vodafone 1300 130 741, Virgin 1300 555 100, Optus 133 937, Telstra 13 22 00)
2. Call the Australian Tax Office (ATO, 1800 467 033), explain you’ve been hacked and ask to have increased security placed on your TFN (Tax File Number) and ABN (Australian Business Number) if you have one.
3. Contact MyGov (1800 941 126), explain you’ve been hacked and ask to have increased security placed on your account.
4. Contact your utilities providers (electricity, gas, water) explain you’ve been hacked and ask to have increased security placed on your account.
5. Report what has happened to you to ACORN (Australian Cyber Crime Online Reporting Network, www.acorn.gov.au) Note: ACORN is jointly run by the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments but they only investigate the most serious of cases of cybercrime.