Scammers and IT Security

Article by Ryan Naughton

as featured in the Farm Weekly issue 18 August 2022

MORE and more frequently we are receiving phone calls from clients regarding a potential scam or dodgy email that they have received.

More often than not the correspondence is either feigning to be from a bank, the ATO or ASIC and the correspondence received is becoming much more realistic and harder to spot.

With this in mind, I recently went to our internal IT guru Mr Mike Cornforth and enlisted his help to get some tips and tricks about how to keep our systems safe, his response was as follows:

• Treat EVERY email with a degree of suspicion. Is the email asking you to pay into a “new” bank account? If so, this is usually a dead giveaway. I would urge you to physically call the service provider to confirm the change.

• Do not click embedded links that look suspicious. Sometimes you can hover your mouse above the link to see where the link originates from before clicking.

• Built in windows firewalls are usually sufficient in most cases, but anti-virus software will provide you with some extra protection. Consider Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Symantec or McAfee.

• Adhere to using passphrases not just passwords. For example, using a song title or a quote known to you. Mix it up with some letters and characters (ie Byf!3lds#2022).

• Use two factor authentication or multi factor where recommended.

• Consider Dashlane and LastPass as software solutions to manage your passwords.

• When configuring your Wi-fi router make sure you change the username and password.

• Consider using a virtual private network when travelling such as NordVPN or Surfshark.

• Keep all hardware and software up to date.

• Backup your data regularly.

Security of your IT systems is a multilayered approach, using much of the above will help. But please remember the main chink in the armor is human error.

You can implement all the virus protection software in the world; however, this will not help you if the person behind the keyboard is not vigilant.

To discuss this article further, we encourage you to contact Ryan Naughton at or your Byfields accountant.

Disclaimer: This content provides general information only, current at the time of production. Any advice in it has been prepared without taking into account your personal circumstances. You should seek professional advice.

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