Close to 10 Million Optus customers became victims of a large cyber attack, and now information has come to light showing a breach with some Telstra employees. Here is how to protect yourself!

We all try to be careful, but what should we do to ensure we’re not giving out all our information on the Internet? The Optus data breach has affected several thousand Australians, with their private information being leaked unbeknownst to them. Due to this both Government and industry have been forced to review their current data privacy laws and practices. Just two weeks after the data breach, security analysts have urged Government for substantially tougher monetary penalties for data breaches.

According to Optus, Full names, Dates of birth, Phone numbers, email addresses, home addresses, and government IDs (Passport, medicare & Driver’s license numbers) have been leaked.

Have you been affected by the data breach? Here are some precautions you could take:

License: Apply for a new driver’s license through the relevant state or local authority.

Passport:  Apply for a new passport through the Australian Passport office.

Medicare: Replace your Medicare card from Services Australia

We can all do things to reduce the probability of being casualties of scams as we prepare for a spike in online criminal activity.

Want to know more? Here are some tips and tricks!

1.  Be cautious: People with stolen data face a heightened threat of phishing attempts via emails, texts or calls. Everybody must be cautious with texts they receive as your data may have been leaked. Do not reply to any messages that you didn’t solicit, even if they seem legitimate.

2. Add complexity: Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) where possible. Activating another layer of protection to ensure it’s harder to gain access to your accounts. Use phrases as passwords (for example, 1V1s1t1edu5A0n2022), and you could use a password manager to manage all your passwords.

3. What do they need to know? Be sensible and careful about the data you give to websites. Only give your information to reputable sites and, even then, only what they need to know.

4. Be sure before you click: Don’t click a new or unknown link from emails or SMS; always double-check the source and the URL to ensure it’s what it says.

5. Do not store payment info: Never let a site save your payment details. We suggest you use established payment broker services such as PayPal, Google Pay or Apple Pay.

6. Be vigilant of a time limit: Urgent requests by email, call, or SMS must be handled with attention, as 99% of phishing efforts are to get more of your data or money.