How vigilant is your organisation? Do you have a proactive approach to scam-prevention? Are your staff informed? Do you know where the weakest link is? It’s never a bad time for a reminder of the danger presented by scams. In this article we take a look over some important considerations, and review a handy checklist from the ATO newsroom.
The Proactive Approach
The best approach to the problems presented by scammers is to be proactive. That means being on the front foot, being prepared, being alert. If you can’t say that’s true of your organisation, you’re not alone. Many businesses have a purely responsive mindset to security issues, which opens the door much wider for the possibility of a scam succeeding in your workplace. Here’s how to be proactive:
- Schedule regular reminders about scams for your employees
- Keep up to date with the latest scams: Scamwatch is a great place to start.
- Understand the goals of scammers. Knowing what they want will help you to block them.
- Utilise available tools for limiting spam and suspicious email.
- Use of anti-virus software
The Weakest Link
Since scams rely on the actions of a person (clicking a link, having a conversation, downloading a file) the weakest link in your organisation is anybody with access (to email, systems) who is poorly informed or inattentive. That could be anyone. Only with a persistent and proactive approach to inform and educate staff can this ‘weakest link’ be reduced.
ATO Newsroom Scam Checklist
Here is a handy checklist of actions from the ATO Newsroom to run over:
Watch Out For Scammers
When you’re running a business, there’s a lot to think about. Don’t forget to protect your personal and financial information. Scammers often try to ‘phish’ for information by impersonating government agencies such as the ATO.
If you hand over your information, scammers might use it to:
- drain your bank account
- establish fake businesses in your name
- gain access to your online government services
- scam your clients and employees.
Scammers have many opportunities to trick you into giving away your valuable information.
There are some things your business can do to help stay safe:
- use complex passwords and change them regularly
- remove system access for people who no longer work for you
- log out of systems and lock computers when you’re not using them
- maintain up-to-date security and anti-virus software on computers and other devices.
There are also some things you can do to stay safe when you’re dealing with government services online:
- don’t access services via a hyperlink in an email or SMS
- access services through an independent online search
- if you’re ever in doubt, look up the service’s phone number separately and call them to check.
Visit the Scamwatch website for more helpful tips and resources.