The following piece was written by Anvij Saxena, Chief Risk Officer at Colonial First State
As our financial lives move gradually more online, cybercrime is becoming more widespread. As simple as a phishing email or as far-reaching as the WannaCry ransomware attack that hit more than 150 countries in May 2017, cybercrime can have devastating impacts on individuals and businesses alike.
It’s estimated that cybercrime costs Australia more than $2 billion each year.  Identity fraud, in particular, has increased by 80% since FY 2014/15, with 27% of Australians reporting they’ve been a victim of identity theft at some stage in their lives.  And while it’s important to appreciate that cybercrime is real and on the rise, there are simple things you can do today to help keep yourself safe online.
How can you keep your personal information secure?
Colonial First State actively works to support advice practices in protecting their clients.
With a dedicated fraud detection team that uses data analytics and reporting tools to flag irregularities, Colonial First State tries to ensure every transaction is legitimate. In April 2017 alone, over 5,000 transactions were flagged by Colonial First State’s systems as potentially suspicious. Twelve of these required extensive investigation and two ended up being confirmed fraudulent attempts which were then prevented from being processed.
It’s a constant challenge for the financial services industry to stay ahead of cybercriminals. However, continued vigilance and investment in fraud controls, as well as super funds working together with financial planners and you, provides the best opportunity for protecting against increasingly sophisticated cyber threats.
 Australian Institute of Criminology, Identity Crime and Misuse in Australia Report, 2013-14
 Veda, Cybercrime and Fraud Report, 2016
This information has been prepared by Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFS Licence 232468 (Colonial First State) based on its understanding of current regulatory requirements and laws as at June 2017. It is not advice and provides information only. It does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement available from the product issuer carefully and assess whether the information is appropriate for you and consider talking to a financial adviser before making an investment decision.
Financial Index Wealth Accountants (FIWA) is one of Australia's leading providers of retail financial planning, accounting and wealth management services.
Our mission is to provide high quality solutions to help guide our clients on a successful financial journey in an increasingly complex world.