Protecting your digital identity

During this Scams Awareness Week, we’re sharing our top tips to combat scams. Following on from Safeguarding older and vulnerable individuals from scams today we bring you the next tip in our series.

Tip 2: Protect your data like you protect your wallet!

Financial institutions spare no effort in combating fraud and protecting their customers from scammers, and there are thousands of people working around the clock to protect you and your money.

However, in recent years scammers have realised they are competing with advanced multimillion-dollar fraud detection controls and systems, and therefore the path of least resistance is to trick customers into helping them bypass the fraud controls that are put in place for customer protection.

The truths we must acknowledge:

1. Scammers already have some of your data

There’s an alarming amount of compromised data out there, and scammers are becoming increasingly skilled at exploiting it. The numerous Australian data breaches publicised widely are just the tip of the iceberg.

You can check how many data breaches have involved your details at this website: 

2. If you think you are too smart to be scammed, you are a great target!

Scammers, armed with your stolen data, can piece together a comprehensive profile of their targets. That seemingly innocent chat on WhatsApp or a transaction on Facebook Marketplace can be a data-mining expedition. This, in turn, can be exploited to build trust and manipulate people into compliance.

The following are some steps you can take to shield yourself from scams:

  • Stay informed: Learn from the experiences of scam victims, by putting yourself in the victim’s situation and considering how the controls you have in place could have protected you in their situation.
  • Limit personal information sharing: Be cautious about the amount of personal information you share on social media ,and tighten your security settings. The less scammers know about you, the harder it is for them to craft convincing scams.
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Whenever possible, enable 2FA for your online accounts. This adds an extra layer of security, making it significantly more difficult for scammers to gain access to your accounts.
  • Have strong, unique passwords: Don’t underestimate the importance of strong, unique passwords for each of your online accounts. Consider using a reputable password manager to help you generate and store them securely.

Your data is your digital identity, and safeguarding it is vital. Scammers can use your data to gain trust, manipulate, and exploit vulnerabilities.

By taking steps to protect your data and sharing this knowledge with others, we can collectively defend against data-driven scams and build a safer digital world.