Be Cyber Wise
The ATO encourage us to implement these 4 quick steps to help protect us and our clients.
Step 1: Install updates for their devices and software
Regular updates ensure taxpayers have the latest security in place which can help prevent cyber criminals from hacking their devices. They should also make sure they are downloading authorised and legitimate programs.
Taxpayers should check their devices for updates. They can also refer to ‘turn on automatic updates’ on the ATO’s website for further information and assistance in this regard.
Step 2: Implement multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication (‘MFA’) is a security measure that requires at least two proofs of identity to grant access. Businesses as well as individuals should implement MFA wherever possible. MFA options can include a physical token, authenticator app, email or SMS.
Taxpayers can refer to ‘turn on MFA’ on the ATO’s website for further assistance.
Step 3: Regularly back up their files
Backing up copies of files to an external device or the ‘cloud’ means taxpayers can restore their files if something goes wrong. It is a precautionary measure that can help avoid costly data recovery.
Taxpayers can refer to ‘Setting up and performing regular backups’ on the ATO’s website for further assistance.
Step 4: Change passwords to passphrases
By using passphrases, taxpayers can boost the security of their accounts and make it harder for cyber criminals to access their information. Passphrases use four or more random words and can include symbols, capitals and numbers. A password manager can help generate or store passphrases.
Taxpayers can refer to ‘Passphrases’ on the ATO’s website for further assistance.
Ref: ATO website, Tax Professionals Newsroom, 10 October 2023
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Yan Qi CA
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