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The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation has launched the Think Before You Link campaign which aims to raise awareness of the threat of malicious social media profiles, and educate current and former security clearance holders to understand the signs of a malicious approach online.

Think before you link to unknown people or profiles, and pause before you post professional and personal information online. It may be used by foreign spies or others to identify and then target you.

If a stranger reaches out online, ask yourself if you really know who you are talking to. The friendly, generous young person claiming to be a global head-hunter or think tank researcher might be trying to win your trust and steal your secrets.

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Through real-life examples and the experiences of others, the campaign will help you and your organisation understand the warning signs of a malicious approach and how to respond. 

Social media and online networking have changed the way we connect with friends and build our professional lives. While social networks play an important role helping us keep in touch, they can also pose a significant security risk if not used with caution.

Consider carefully what information about you is available online, and how this could contribute to you or your colleagues being targeted or placed in a situation that could harm you, your friends, your employer and, ultimately, Australia’s national security.

The networking platforms you use attract the attention of not only friends and family wanting to stay in touch, but also people wanting to know about you for the wrong reasons. Foreign spies, their agents and proxies are actively conducting espionage and foreign interference in Australia, which poses a serious threat to our nation and its security. 

Ordinary and seemingly harmless post updates and new contacts can give identity thieves, cybercriminals and foreign agents information to steal your identity or discover important data they can use against you.

For more information, visit asio.gov.au.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has a wide range of advice available relating to the secure use of social media, including security tips for social media and social networking apps, choosing effective passwords, PINs and passphrases, protecting your computers, phones and tablets and setting up multi-factor authentication to make it harder for criminals to attack your data.

These reports, and other cyber security advice and information, is available at cyber.gov.au.

ACSC’s Partnership Program is an important and valuable platform for collaboration open to industry, the research community and state and territory government agencies.  Organisations that become ACSC partners can access timely alerts and advisories, rapidly share insights and information, and increasingly work together to solve common challenges. 

To report a cybercrime, visit ACSC ReportCyber.