Protect your business from cybercrime
31 July 2019
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is reminding business owners to be vigilant with their cyber security, particularly during tax time.
It’s not just about protecting your money, it’s also about ensuring your customer information is kept safe.
Here are some tips for keeping your business safe:
- Firstly, do not share passwords! Keep your passwords to yourself, and make sure they are unique and strong. Strengthen you passwords by including a mix of upper and lower case, symbols and numbers. Steer clear of using passwords that may be easily guessed. Names, birthdays, favourite foods or sporting teams are not strong passwords!
- Set-up multi-factor authentication for added security. Consider using SMS codes as your MyGov sign-in option.
- Keep a handle on which staff have access to what log-ins, and be sure to cancel AUSkey access for any staff members who don’t need it. Likewise if an employee leaves the business, immediately revoke any log-in access they may have.
- Periodically update the operating system, anti-virus, security updates etc. on all of your computers and electronic devices. Check for updates weekly. Run virus scans and set-up spam filters.
- Steer clear of USBs or external hard drives if the source is unfamiliar. You run the risk of infecting your systems with malware which may leave you vulnerable to cybercrime.
- Avoid using public wifi, particularly when making sensitive online transactions. Make sure your business wireless connection is secure, with a strong password.
- Contact your bank as soon as you notice any suspicious activity on your bank accounts. Make a habit of regularly reviewing your accounts to identify anomalies.
- Be careful with emails, texts and social media posts – think twice before downloading attachments or clicking on links.
- Consider using a PO Box to secure your mail, reducing the risk of a security breach via mail theft.
What to do if you experience a data breach
If you fall victim to a data breach, you may need to report it to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) as well as notify those individuals affected.
For more information regarding data breaches, when and how to notify, visit the OAIC website: https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/notifiable-data-breaches/report-a-data-breach/
The ATO advises that business owners who suffer a data breach should advise the ATO on 1800 467 033.
You should also report suspicious emails claiming to be from the ATO by forwarding the offending email to ReportEmailFraud@ato.gov.au – make sure you delete the email from your account once you’ve forwarded it to the ATO.
Our firm provides the information on this website for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation.
Tax articles on this website are not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding accuracy-related penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The information is provided “as is,” with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose .