Online privacy awareness for Aussies as important as ever

In the lead up to Privacy Awareness Week from 3-9 May, the National Association for Information Destruction Australia and New Zealand is aiming to educate Aussies on the importance of protecting their personal information.

“Visibly aligning ourselves with such important public awareness campaigns is important. It shows members, consumers and policymakers that we are part of the information protection community and that we are committed to education,” said NAID-ANZ Chair Paul Hurst.

This initiative is increasingly relevant, given recent figures by Financial Fraud Action UK that show losses from online banking fraud rose by 48% in 2014 compared to 2013.

The overall rise in fraud losses were due to increased use of computer viruses to steal information from infected computers and fraudsters tricking people into disclosing their personal and financial details especially over the telephone.  

Chair of the UK Keep Me Posted campaign for consumer’s rights, Judith Donovan told the BBC, "Many banks and service providers want to encourage people to manage their accounts online and will stress convenience and speed as selling points."

"However, the fact remains that online fraud is increasing year-on-year with many criminals having a demonstrably greater grasp on technology than many of the institutions they are targeting," she said. 

This trend is also occurring in Australia with the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) reporting that the overall amount of fraud on payment credit cards increased by 16% to $304 million in 2013.

Here are the Australian Government’s top tips for reducing your risk of fraud online:

  • Never give your Internet banking password to anyone especially if requested to over the phone or by email.
  • Do not click on any links to banking or similar services provided in an email.
  • Delete all suspect emails immediately.
  • Familiarise yourself with the advice provided by the ACCC on using online auction sites and conducting transactions over the Internet.
  • Report any suspicious emails requesting your banking details to SCAMwatch online or call the ACCC Infocentre on 1300 795 995.