Cybersecurity: how to protect yourself and your money


You are probably familiar with the well-publicised Optus data breach where the personal details of 2.1 million customers were leaked. We should use this story as a cautionary tale to review our own cybersecurity. I have listed below several things you can do to protect yourself.  

Use a password manager

Passwords must be at least 10 characters and include a combination of letters, numbers and symbols to be regarded as secure, as demonstrated in this table. You should use unique passwords for each of your log-ins. Using the same, predictable password is a problem waiting to happen.

The easiest way to achieve this is to use a password manager. At ProSolution, we use Keeper, but there are lots of options available.

Implementing a password manager is probably the single biggest improvement to personal online security that you can make.

Don’t email anything that contains personal information

Email can be intercepted. It is not a secure communication medium, and you should not use it to send any personal identifiable information. Instead, use a password protected file sharing service such as OneDrive, Drop Box or Google Drive.

Review your credit file regularly and/or subscribe to updates

It is important to protect your credit score as it could prevent you from obtaining finance and/or refinancing. As such, it is important to check your credit file regularly to ensure there are no errors or fraud. You can request a free copy of your credit file every 3 months here. After you have set up an account and submitted your ID, it is easy to request updated reports.

You can also sign-up to a paid service where you will be notified when your credit file is accessed – see here.

And SavvyShield if a free service that allows you to lock access to your credit file, so no third parties can access it.

Push alerts for accounts

Most banking apps allow you to receive push alerts so that you get notified when transactions occur on your accounts. This will help you identify any fraudulent transactions as soon as they occur.

Check whether your email or phone number has been subject to a data breach

This is a free website that allows you to check whether your email or phone number has been subject to a data breach.   

Reduce credit card and transactional limits

Consider reducing limits on credit cards and daily or transactional limits to minimise any damage that any fraud may cause.

Almost all successful data breaches occur because of human error e.g., a humans actions facilitates access for the hacker such as downloading malware. Therefore, it is important that you must not open any attachments or click on any links from an untrusted source. And if an email doesn’t look legitimate or if the request is unusual, don’t action it.

Data security is our top priority

As you should expect, the team at ProSolution are very aware of maintaining stringent information security protocols. We undertake regular training in this regard and have strict protocols regarding the handling and storage of data. Of course, no one can eliminate all risks completely, but there are several actions we can all take that substantially reduce these risks.