Is your SMSF being targeted by foreign cyber criminals?

By  Stephanie Oakley

Right now, the entire world is vulnerable to cyber crime. It doesn't matter how small your business is, how much you have in your savings account or where you are located, hackers are targeting everyone who doesn't have their personal information on lock.

Cyber criminals are attacking Australia's superannuation funds - a small retirement pool of $2.1 trillion. The 2015/2016 Cyber Security Survey Results report released by the Australia Prudential Regulation Authority found that 75 per cent of their survey respondents had experienced a cyber security incident within the past year.

It's no surprise that Australia would have a big target on its back - it's retirement system is world renowned for its efficiency and ability to give Australians comfortable golden years. Unfortunately, SMSF members fall prey to these crimes most often, as members are more active in growing the balances. And in many ways, identity rules for those with self-managed funds aren't as strong as they could be.

With this in mind, it's a good idea to take a look at your fund (or the way you handle your finances in general) and ensure you're doing everything you can to keep your money safe. 


Be smart with your information

Phishing techniques are one of the most common ways to steal information. This is a scheme in which a thief will obtain your personal information by pretending to be a formal institution like your bank. It works like this: the thief might call you pretending like something is wrong with your account, wanting to fix it, you unknowingly pass over your personal information, passwords and all. Once they have your personal information, they can go into your account and move money to their own account where they then cash out. 

To prevent this from happening, keep your information as secure as possible. If you get a strange or unexpected call, email or letter, verify its validity with the provider before acting. 


Keep an eye on your balance 

It's a good idea to get in the habit of reviewing your accounts to ensure the balance is where it should be.

In the past, people only reviewed their accounts once a year or so, giving hackers plenty of time to get in and do some damage without you noticing. Today, however, technology allows us to check in on accounts whenever we want. It's a good idea to get in the habit of reviewing your accounts to ensure the balance is where it should be.

If you notice something is wrong, notify your advisor immediately and they will be able to help you further.


Practice good software security 

Finally, when you are using that cutting-edge technology to review your balance, make sure you are doing so in a secure environment. Hackers can post bogus networks for you to join in public places, and once you start entering your information, they can take it from you quite easily. 

We want help you make smart and safe investments. To learn more about how DFK Crosbie's SMSF services can help you stay on top of your financial future, contact our team today.



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