With the recent hacking of Optus customers’ private data, this issue of cyber security has been a hot topic of concern and discussion. 

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month and is an annual reminder for all Australians to stay secure online.

The theme for 2022 Cyber Security Awareness Month and the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) is ‘Have you been hacked?’.

Throughout October, the ACSC will focus on a number of weekly themes including:

Week 1:  Have you been hacked?

The ACSC has launched the ‘Have you been hacked?’ tool.

This tool will help you assess if you’ve been hacked by guiding you through a range of scenarios that will advise you on how to best respond to the situation.

Scenarios include:

  • Ransomware attacks
  • Malware threats
  • Email compromise and identify theft
  • Phishing and fake website scams.

The tool is simple to use and includes typical warning signs, scenario explanations and easy-to-follow steps on how to remediate the situation.

  • Tool: Have you been hacked?
  • Quiz: How secure are you?
  • A4 poster – Have you been hacked?
  • A3 poster – Have you been hacked?

Week 2: Is your email secure?

The ACSC wants to help protect you from cybercriminals and your email is a common target for cybercriminal activity.

If someone gains access to your email account, they could steal your sensitive information, change passwords for your other accounts, or even send emails pretending to be you.

Cybercriminals will sometimes target emails being sent to and from businesses.

This could result in fraudulent activity, with cybercriminals intercepting financial transactions such as invoices. Cybercriminals will use email to abuse trust in business processes to scam victims out of money or goods. This type of email attack is often referred to as a business email compromise (BEC).

If you think your email account has already been compromised, you can take the following steps to review your security and remove the attacker:

  • How to check your email account security – Outlook
  • How to check your email account security – Gmail
  • What to do if someone has hacked your email account

Week 3: How do you act now to stay secure?

The ACSC has a number of resources to help you act now to stay secure.

The resources cover basic cyber security practices such as updates, multi-factor authentication (MFA), backups, and passphrases.

Email is a common target for cybercriminal activity. The ACSC has resources available to help you keep your email secure:

  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Secure your Google account
  • Secure your Microsoft account
  • Protect your business from email fraud & compromise
  • Quiz: Would you know what to do if you were a victim of a business email compromise?
  • Phishing – Scam Emails
  • Quiz: Can you spot a scam (phishing) message?

The ACSC also has resources on how to secure your accounts and devices. It’s easy to improve your cyber security! Take these simple steps today to protect yourself:

  • Update your devices
  • Protect yourself: Updates guide
  • Protect Yourself: Multi-Factor Authentication guide
  • Turn on multi-factor authentication
  • Set up and perform regular backups
  • Set secure passphrases
  • Recognise and report scams
  • Watch out for threats
  • A4 poster – Top Tips for Cyber Security

Week 4: Time to Take Action!

Now is the perfect time to protect yourself online.

If you are interested in receiving cyber alerts, join the ACSC Partnership Program and help others stay secure too.

The ACSC has resources available to help you take action:

  • Quiz: How cyber secure are you?
  • Seniors Guide
  • Kid’s Guide & colouring-in sheet
  • Personal Cyber Security Guides (First Steps, Next Steps and Advanced Steps)
  • Small Business Cyber Security Guide
  • Cyber Careers
  • A4 poster – Top Tips for Cyber Security

Test your knowledge with these quizzes:

  • Quiz: Updates
  • Quiz: Multi-factor authentication
  • Quiz: Backups
  • Quiz: Passphrases
  • Quiz: Can you spot signs of a scam?

As businesses grow so does the need to expand their online presence. 

Meanwhile, hackers are becoming more sophisticated in continually devising new ways to trick you into responding to one of their requests. 

APAN strongly recommends that all businesses install updated security programs on their computer.

To do this you will need to engage a competent person or employ an external professional service provider who is knowledgeable in Cyber security programs.