Optus Data Breach

Printed paper with the words Data breach across as a heading, and the Optus logo in the top corner of the page

You are all (hopefully) by now aware of the recent data breach suffered by Optus and their customers, both past and present. There are so many reports and instruction emails and posts being sent to Optus customers and in the general domain that it can seem quite a daunting prospect to reign it all in and take adequate steps to protect yourself.

Whilst we don’t want to add to the confusion or the overwhelming sense and task list, it is important for us all to position ourselves to be able to guide and support our members through some steps to help them navigate this situation. It is critical that seniors, in particular, have someone or somewhere to turn to that they can trust to help them navigate a potential minefield.

It’s also an opportunity for our clubs to reiterate some of the important points about securing and protecting our personal information, regardless of them being an Optus customer or not.

It’s opportune to have sessions around secure passwords, multi-factor authentication options, keeping contact details up to date, recovery codes for online accounts and services and scams awareness sessions discussing how to verify information received digitally while keeping ourselves safe.

Here is a list of sites to go to for further information on steps to take – we have deliberately NOT hyperlinked the text this month due to the increased vigilance being recommended by all agencies in light of this breach. Please copy and paste these URLs into your browsers.

Is your Club in a position to support your members?

If you are, that’s fantastic – we’d love to hear from you if you’re willing to help other Clubs too.

If you’re not confident to support your members, get in touch with us and we will work with you to either support your trainers to be confident enough to help your members, or put you in touch with another Club willing & able to help others.

Simple steps for Individuals to take:

1. Check emails from Optus for details of what’s happening in regards to the breach and your information – or contact them via their messaging option in the Optus account.

2. Change passwords so that they aren’t all the same (if they are all the same the threat is on all accounts using it!)

3. Turn on multi-factor authentication (using an authenticator app rather than your phone number) for important accounts (ie your email accounts, or anywhere you store your credit card details).

4. Check bank transactions regularly and alert the bank as soon as there’s something out of the ordinary.

5. Be hyper-vigilant re unsolicited SMS’s, emails or phone calls.

6. Talk about these points with friends and family – and keep talking about scams and tricks – while we’re talking and thinking about it we’re more aware of potential risks, and more likely to question things landing in our SMS or Email inboxes or from random callers.

7. Register with Equifax and ID Care.

8. Check your email addresses on a reputable site, such as HaveIBeenPwned.com.

Natika Hawes-Wright
ASCCA SWADE Lead Digital Mentor