In the ever-changing digital world today, it is imperative to ensure your digital identity and personal security is highly secure. Unfortunately, more and more people are falling victim to fraudulent access and hacking of their MyGov account. Hacking, phishing and scams are becoming more and more prevalent, especially within MyGov, which holds so much valuable personal data.
What Can You Do?
Your MyGov is a secure digital portal where all your government organizations are linked, which makes this portal invaluable for hackers, as almost all personal and financial information can be found here. You need to ensure that your MyGov has the highest standard of security. This starts with actions as simple as never sharing your password with anyone, especially over email or text. The Government will never ask you to share information such as the PIN to your MyGov, your password, or sensitive information over the phone or email.
It also helps to be aware of all emails and links you are clicking on, as fraudulent or scam links are the easiest way for hackers to access your information.
Make sure that your devices and software have the latest updates, along with Multi Factor Authentication to increase the security of your digital identity. This also extends to making sure your contact and personal details are always up to date, which will make it easier for you to be alerted to any activity on your account – fraudulent or not.
More information around your MyGov security & how to protect yourself online can be found below.
What Happens if you do get Hacked?
If you do find yourself in the unfortunate predicament of your MyGov being hacked or scammed, there are several steps required, along with an abundance of support.
Immediately report any suspicious activity or any activity you do not recognize.
In the event of a hack, immediately report it to the Police, your employer, your super fund, any government institution you are involved in (Centrelink, Medicare, ATO, Child Support, Department of Veterans’ Affairs etc), and your financial institutions (Bank, investment holders, anywhere that you have money or assets). This will guarantee that any information not affected will be safe guarded by those organizations.
In our experience, we know that the ATO provides support to those affected by hacks or scams by supplying you with a dedicated case manager – working with you to increase your digital security, liaising with organizations to minimize the damage and provide with all the information needed while the investigation is underway.
After a hack or scam, there are still long-lasting effects, especially with your government institutions. The ATO will place a mandatory manual processing measure on your account, meaning all returns, refunds and preparation of tax will be delayed and checked manually from the moment they are advised of the fraudulent activity. The ATO will also implement new security measures for access, such as applying a longer list of security questions – with the questions being more complicated & unique to you.
Being a victim of a scam, hack or identity theft is a long process to investigate and action. The consequences of this can be incredibly apparent and/or remain for years. If you think you have been hacked, there is support available – from helping with the immediate issue, to the lasting consequences (Financial Hardship or Mental Health).
Your digital security is one of the most important utensils to staying safe online. Ensure you have adequate security on all devices and educate yourself on staying safe online to reduce any chance of fraudulent access.