01 October 2019 How to protect your online identity in 2019

Icon Agency's website has gone black and white in support of Stay Smart Online Week 2019. 

After the huge success of the 2018 campaign, Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) engaged Icon Agency to again raise awareness around Stay Smart Online Week 2019.

New research by the ACSC highlights that 3.4 million Aussies lost money to cybercriminals in 2018, leading to a heist of $2.3 billion. The government-led initiative aims to reverse the threat and educate Australians on cyber safety and identity theft. 

A variety of campaign activations will launch this week with themed events due to take place in Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Alice Springs to help spread the national message of taking control of your online identity. The campaign will see the big four banks (NAB, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank and ANZ) and other corporate organisations across Australia reverse their websites to black and white in a defining act of unity against cybercrime. Icon are also changing our website to help support awareness. 

To kick-start the 2019 campaign launch, we’ve put together some handy hints below to take back control of your online identity.

What is identity theft?
Identity theft refers to any fraudulent practice of using another person’s name and key personal information, typically in an attempt to extract financial gains from the victim. 

What is at risk?
You could lose or risk compromising your:

  • Financial records
  • Online passwords
  • Personal images
  • License number
  • Email and social accounts

How to evade identity theft:

  1. Know how to spot a phishing scam: Phishing (no, not fishing!) are fake messages that lure the user into giving out personal or financial details. As real as the message may look, keep an eye out for misspelt words or poor grammar, too-good-to-be-true offers and messages demanding urgent actions. Do not open any attachments within the phishing email. Think before you click!
  2. Improve the strength of your password: 43% of people use the same password across all of their devices and accounts. Passwords are the first line of defence against cybercriminals - once they have one, they can unlock more of your accounts. We strongly suggest using passphrases where you string at least four words together to make at least 12 characters like ‘coffeedogchairpen’.
  3. Adopting two-factor authentication: Never share your password with anyone! This method grants access to an account only after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence of authentication. It adds an extra layer of security to your online accounts, verifying the user before access is permitted.  
  4. Enhance your privacy settings: Limit sharing your personal details online such as your address, phone number and birthday. Cybercriminals try to piece together their victim’s profile, don’t let yourself become vulnerable! Disabling location sharing and setting your social media to private restricts viewing to your chosen circle of followers and friends – the way it should be!
  5. Visit the Stay Smart website - the Stay Smart Online team share more information, tips and advice on how to reverse the threat of identity theft. To stay in the loop, you can also sign up for free email alerts at www.staysmartonline.gov.au

Icon is committed to collaborating with the Australian Cyber Security Centre on the 2019 campaign to empower Aussies to learn how to better protect their online identity. Across the business and consumer landscape, our online identities are an extension of our real-world self, so let’s look after it! 

Stay Smart Online Week runs from Monday 7th to Sunday 13th of October. Keep an eye out for us, but more importantly, keep an eye on protecting your online identity.

Visit www.staysmartonline.gov.au/reversethethreat for more information.