A cyber-security expert has shared their five 'golden rules' to protect yourself against fraudsters and scam artists.
Information Technology head teacher at TAFE NSW Griffith George Holt said that scams and cyber-attacks cost Australians millions every year and that remaining informed was crucial to not become a victim.
The Australian Cyber Security Centre recently announced that it was receiving reports of cyber attacks every eight minutes on average, as scammers continue trying to take advantage of our online world.
Mr Holt's five key rules were these;
Use complex passwords and passphrases
Mr Holt emphasised how important well-constructed passwords are, as well as not reusing similar or identical passwords across many different sites or accounts.
"Use a password manager to help memorise them if you need."
Keep operating systems updated
"Make sure your device has the latest software on it with all the protections. What happens is as the bad guys find ways of exploiting software, the companies find ways of protecting the consumer," Mr Holt said.
Ensure malware and anti-virus is regularly updated
"These are being constantly updated as new threats emerge so it's critical you update them regularly."
Tread warily with unsolicited emails
Mr Holt emphasised the importance of caution when clicking links, and the rule of not trusting that the person you're talking to is who they say. This tip applies to emails, as well as text messages as fraudsters attempt to convince you to click malicious links.
"I had one yesterday actually. I got a message from a friend that says 'I've got a video of you' and it's a link to malware. Another common one is a delivery that asks you to click on a link."
"We all get this crap, the important thing is how you react."
The key tip from Mr Holt was to study up. He encouraged people to attend courses on cyber-security, and stay aware of what methods con artists are using to get identifying information or money.
He emphasised remaining calm, especially when facing scammers pretending to be from authorities such as the Commonwealth Government or police.
"If people are informed, they won't panic."
"Do courses. Honestly, cybersecurity is built into all our courses. It's become embedded, and the Federal government has realised the cost to our economy is huge."