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The Hacker, and your cybersecurity

Written by Tanya Brink, Business Development Manager

Recently, Optus suffered a significant data breach. This breach was severe and immeasurably dangerous from the onset. A public announcement detailing the breach was issued and effectively highlighted the vulnerability of our data: personal and professional.

Why did this happen?

Doesn't Optus, being the tech giant they are, employ intrinsic barriers to prevent hackers from breaching their walls? You would think that if we can rely on our data being secure, it's with the people who educate us on staying safe from these hooded characters. However, even the common notion of a hacker is being challenged in this day and age. 

Hackers don't wear hoods, are not loners living in a basement, and are not hiding under the shade of a tall building with a coat full of stolen watches. Instead, they are intelligent, calculated, and intuitive. They receive the same kind of financial emails we do, eat at the same restaurants and frequent the same gyms.

They know we are creatures of habit, and the password we use to order Uber eats is the same password we use to log into our banking. So they generate sophisticated emails and text messages containing malicious attachments and links, which, when clicked on, are the source of the initial infection on your system. As a result, a cyber breach is reported every 8 minutes.

Most consumers are unaware that 95% of cybercrimes are successful purely due to human error. Cybercriminals' secular responsibilities are hacking other people's data; they meet their KPIs and receive bonuses for hard work. They climb the hacker corporate ladder, and they report to their superiors. 

So the question needs to be asked, what can be done to protect ourselves and our data from threat? 

  1. Practice good password etiquette – do not use the same password for multiple platforms. Utilising a password keeper can be helpful. Ensure your password contains a combination of upper case and lower case numbers and symbols, and do not provide your password to anyone you don't trust.
  2. Secure your social media and email accounts – implement multi-factor authentication. It takes mere minutes comparable to a lifetime of compromise if you're data is breached.
  3. Be constantly on guard for phishing emails and text messages – check the email address, browser address, and wording of your correspondence. If something looks wrong, don't click on it!

"Most consumers are unaware that 95% of cybercrimes are successful purely due to human error."

What do I do if my data is breached?

 First, understand what's been exposed, which platform was breached and what data was compromised. If driver's license details were compromised, alert the authorities and have your license replaced. Change passwords. Turn on multi-factor authentication if you haven't already done so. Be alert for suspicious calls or messages and consider a creditor monitoring service. Report the breach!

For further information on protection and actions after a breach and how to prevent a breach: visit the following trusted websites.

IDCARE Official Website | Identity Theft & Cyber Support

ACSC Homepage |

Home | Scamwatch

Still concerned about a potential breach?

Ashfords Digital are strong advocators of preventing cyber security threats and believes prevention is the best practice. Let Ashfords Digital help you understand your business' vulnerabilities and improve your confidence in managing the inevitable with minimal impact. I invite you to start the conversation. Call Tanya Brink, Ashfords Digital Business Development Manager, on 0460842996 or email


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What’s this new tax:

On 20 March 2024, the Victorian State Government introduced the Commercial and Industrial Property Tax Reform Bill 2024 ( The Bill is expected to become law and to take effect from 1 July 2024.

The Victorian Government, as announced in the 2023-24 Budget,  is progressively abolishing stamp duty on commercial and industrial property and replacing it with an annual tax.

The annual tax, to be known as the Commercial and Industrial Property Tax (CIPT), will be set at 1% of the property’s unimproved land value.

The tax will replace land transfer duty (stamp duty) that is currently payable on the improved value of the land when you purchase or acquire a commercial or industrial property in Victoria.

The new tax system will start to apply to commercial and industrial property if the property is transacted on or after 1 July 2024.


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