Australia’s second-largest telecommunications announced that millions of customers were victims of cybercrime where their personal identification from their database was stolen. These included names, phone numbers, birthdates, and email addresses which are important information that can be used to attack customers’ accounts. There are instances that even driver’s licence and passport numbers are also affected.
In the latest Optus cyberattack, among the 9.8 million affected, 2.1 million personal identification numbers have been stolen. Due to this situation, Optus is now reaching out to those who are affected by the data breach. Are you one of them?
This is very alarming to every Australian and must be given the right solution immediately. So what are the things you need to do if you’ve been affected by these cybercrime attacks?
Secure your most vulnerable account
Identify all your vulnerable accounts such as bank accounts, brokerage or super accounts, medical information accounts, and online accounts, especially those accounts that are connected to your bank account or credit cards.
Consider updating your password, it must be a new and never used password that is not connected to your personal information. Use different passwords for each account and make sure that is a strong password, meaning you use a combination of special characters, numbers, upper and lowercase letters and more than eight characters.
There are accounts that allow multi-factor authentication, this is the best help since you’re adding an extra layer to protect your account. The authentication will be requesting additional code to type in, and best activated on sensitive accounts such as banks, super, and brokerage accounts.
Remember cyber etiquette
Always take extra care when verifying text messages and emails, and never click suspected links sent through texts and emails.
When it comes to receiving calls, someone personally calling from a legitimate company is suspicious without any confirmation from their legit official number or website. To make sure, call their customer service which can be found on their official website.
Lastly, do not share your password with anyone. This is the best defence that you can do to protect your security online. Make sure that your password is unique. If you easily forget, you can list your password to your notes to which only you have access.
Replace your driver’s licence
According to the news, there are customers whose driver’s licence information was stolen. If you’re one of them, you have to change yours immediately and Optus promised to pay all the changeover expenses.
It was advised to also change your passport since passport numbers have potentially been breached. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) stated that people can choose whether they want to replace their passports, but the new passport must be paid for by themselves.
Replace your Medicare card
If you have been affected, replace your Medicare card immediately. Just visit your Medicare card online through myGov to get a new card. Also, if your Medicare or Centrelink has been affected, contact the Scams and Identity Theft Help Desk.
About the Optus Cybercrime attack, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) advised affected registered voters that they don’t need to update any information with them. This involves federal, state or territory and local council elections.
The best way to avoid this cybercrime attack is to invest in stronger security. Especially industries that get personal and private information from their customers.
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