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Cyber security alert for myGovID

The ATO warns tax and BAS agents to improve their myGovID login and password details.

myGovID credentials are the latest targets for cyber fraud attacks, with the ATO urging people to be vigilant over their login security.

The ATO warning was this week sent to the Australian Bookkeepers Association to circulate to membership. It follows the ATO’s recent work with a small number of agents where they or their clients, or both, have been the victim of identity crime.

The ATO said that in these instances, there has been a significant disruptive impact on the agent and their clients.

The revelations come coincidently in the same month as the Notifiable Data Breaches report from the Australian Information Commission (OAIC) that places accountants and bookkeepers among the most vulnerable professions to cyber-attacks.

Is your MyGovID more vulnerable to attack?

Given the myGovID credential is key to linking to other services, and part of the new client-agent linking program, Director at ABN, Peter Thorp, considers announcements like this concerning.

“myGovID is front and centre to many new government cyber fraud protection and tax compliance measures that are diverting much of bookkeepers’ time recently,” said Peter. “It is worrying that myGovID might not be as secure as people would expect.

“It is helpful though the ATO is being upfront about these concerns, making agents more aware of the risks,” continue Peter.  “We all need to share responsibility to protect our data and use double factor identification and secure passwords.”

ATO recommends improving your passwords.

Some of the recommendations to protect your myGovID credential implied that security issues come from people making small mistakes.  

  • One mistake is using a company email address that can be easily found and replicated from a little online research.
  • Be careful not to pick a simple password that could be broken with a password cracker tool.
  • Two factor identification is needed on your personal email account.
  • Make sure to turn on myGovID notifications to monitor for any strange logins.

See here for more information on how to best protect your myGovID.

12 Apr 2023
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