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Christmas is almost here – and that brings great opportunities in business. People are shopping, using your business services and hopefully hitting your website and social media. Do you have a plan to engage and attract customers in this holiday season? Are you sure your website is secure? And if you are shopping yourself are you sure your personal data is secure? We would love to help with any of these things.

Can you be sure your personal data is secure?

The Veda 2015 Cyber Fraud Report published in October has some alarming statistics.

Sydney, Australia: Wednesday, 7 October 2015 – Australians’ love of online commerce and sharing on social media is making us unwitting pawns in the global fraud marketplace. A new fraud report released today reveals that fraudulent credit applications involving identity takeovers in Australia rose 59% in the past two years – and 17% in the past 12 months.

It shows that the online playground for hackers is getting serious, with 50% of credit application fraud in Australia now occurring online – an increase of 33% compared to the previous financial year. This compares with a 23% fall in credit application fraud incidents occurring at bank branches in 2014-15, compared to 2013-14.

Overall, credit application fraud rose almost 13% in 2014-15, across the four main types of fraud – falsifying personal details (accounting for 58% share), identity takeover (22% share), undisclosed debt (9%) and fabricated identity (8%).1

Of Australians who have suffered from fraud, 20% claimed their computer had been hacked – for example by malware – 18% stated that their mobile phone had been hacked and 18% claimed that one of their online accounts or their social media account had been hacked.2

The good news is that most Australians now use anti-virus software (90%) and PayPal for online payments (85%).

Following is a checklist to see if you or your business has exposure in any of the most obvious areas. Can you tick these items off?

Your Passwords are strong

  • Passwords should not be connected to your date of birth, middle name, children’s birth dates or names, or even your pets names. Rather they should be at least 9 (preferably 12) characters containing a mixture of upper and lower case letters numbers and punctuation symbols. Passphrases that include these may also work well. E.g. “I ate the dog’$ hoM3work”
  • Passwords should be changed regularly, and if you don’t have different ones you should at least have several levels – e.g. banking, email, online social medial accounts, and they should not be the same!
  • WiFi passwords are secure and your WiFi network is locked against casual users.
  • If you use someone else’s computer to conduct any banking use a private session and close the browser afterwards.

Physical devices should be reliable, secure and access restricted to authorised personnel.

  • Does your building or office have security, alarms or physical access restrictions (eg swipe cards)
  • Do you have a notification plan around lost or stolen data or devices with an escalation based on severity of the problem?
  • What is the time gap between a critical piece of infrastructure failing and its replacement allowing for continued business activity? Eg Router/modem, switch, server, PC, POS terminal etc.

The security of your business is important to us. We will assist you to work through the different threat levels, exposure and security risks and evaluate your current plans for failure points or missing pieces. Then we can help you plan and implement the missing pieces.

Act now BEFORE you experience a breach or loss. Contact us today for a security audit of your business and get yourself peace of mind.

Guides for Sharing Information Online

Recent research from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found that phishing, hacking and ID theft was reported in over a quarter of all scams in 2014 and this is continuing to grow as more and more data is put online.

  • Be aware of what you (and your family) share online. Ensure your kids particularly aren’t giving away information that shouldn’t be kept private or could be used to compromise you.
  • Clear your cache regularly and use in private sessions when banking or doing other shopping.
  • Always check that the https:// protocol is in place when shopping. The S is the important bit.
  • Google your self occasionally – just to see what is out there

If you need help setting up or managing you or your families online profiles or devices, talk to us

Windows 10 update is available now

Microsoft just released a major Windows update to the world. This desktop update is packed with nearly 200 new capabilities, many of which were developed directly as a result of feedback from Insiders like you. Check out Terry Myerson's blog for more details.

With Windows 10 on now more than 110 million devices with 12 million of them business machines it is rapidly being installed everywhere.

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Talk to use about the significant advantages to your business about using Windows 10. We can upgrade you over the holiday period.

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As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces, then connect with me:

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What people say..

Enjoyable and helpful information. Great introduction - made me want more info.

Feedback from Free Business Seminar Jan 2013

— Kathie - Business Owner

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