Secure Your Data – Top Cyber Security Tips

Secure Your Data - Top cyber security tips

ATO Cyber Security Tips

It is important that businesses keep all their business and client information secure. If data is lost or compromised, it can be very difficult or very costly to recover.

The ATO has released a list of tips on how to keep your business and client data safe from hackers and identity thieves:

Ensure your passwords are strong and secure

Use multi-factor authentication where possible. Regularly change passwords, and do not share them.

Multi-factor authentication requires users to provide multiple pieces of information to authenticate themselves – for example, a text message sent to your phone when logging into a website.

As a business owner, remember:

Remove system access from people who no longer need it

Immediately remove access for people who:

Unauthorised access to systems by past employees is a common cause of identity security or fraud issues for businesses.

Ensure all devices have the latest available security updates

Run weekly anti-virus and malware scans and have up to date security software.

Instances of malicious software (malware) are increasing. It can be easy to accidently click on an email or website link which can infect your computer.

In some instances, your device may be impacted by ransomware. Ransomware can:

Do not use USBs or external hard drives from an unfamiliar source

USBs and external hard drives may contain malware, which can infect your business computers without you noticing.

It can cost your business a lot of money to repair the damage.

Stolen information could be used to commit crimes, often in your business’s name.

Use a spam filter on your email account

Do not open any unsolicited messages.

Be wary of downloading attachments or opening email links you receive, even if they are from a person or business you know. They can infect your computer with malware and lead to your business or client information being used to commit fraud.

Spam emails can be embedded with malware and can be used to trick you into:

Secure your wireless network and be careful when using public wireless networks

Avoid making online transactions while using public or complimentary wi-fi.

Not all wi-fi access points are secure. By making online transactions (such as online banking) on an unsecure network, you can put your information and money at risk.

Be vigilant about what you share on social media

Keep your personal information private and be aware of who you are interacting with.

Many businesses now have a social media presence. Much like your personal profile, you should consider what information you share.

Scammers are able to take information you publicly display and impersonate you or your business. Impersonators may send emails to trick your staff into providing valuable information or releasing funds.

Monitor your accounts for unusual activity or transactions

Check your accounts (including bank accounts, digital portals and social media) for transactions or interactions you did not make, or content you did not post.

If an organisation you deal with sends you an email alerting you to unexpected changes on your account, do not:

You should immediately:

Use a PO Box, or ensure your mail is secure

Ensure your mail is secure and consider using a secure PO Box.

Mail theft is a leading cause of information security breaches.

Do not download programs or open attachments unless you know the program is legitimate

Some programs contain malware that can infect your computer (including ransomware which locks your files until you pay a criminal), or be used to harvest your sensitive personal and business information.

Be sure you are downloading authorised and legitimate programs.

Do not leave your information unattended – secure your electronic devices

Secure your electronic devices wherever you are.

Your information can be stolen in an instant. In some situations, you won’t even know was stolen. Make sure you:


This publication was authored by the Cyber Security Working Group – a consultative forum comprising the ATO and professional associations.

This publication is a general reference only. It is not a substitute for independent professional advice. You should obtain appropriate professional advice for your particular circumstances.

The Cyber Security Working Group and its constituent associations do not accept responsibility or liability for any loss or damage incurred as a result or in connection with the use or distribution of this material or this publication.


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