Internet Security: Protecting Your Computer / Tablet / Mobile

When you're online it's important to be aware of internet security issues such as viruses, hackers and threats to your privacy. Optus takes steps to help minimise internet security issues on our network, but we also need your help to protect your all of your connected devices from unauthorised access & malicious activity.

What is Optus Doing to Assist?

Optus complies with the Communications Alliance iCode, which is a voluntary code dealing with internet security matters. For more information go to for info and further resources to help keep your devices free of online-nasties.

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General Online Safety & Security Tips

Here are some common sense rules that will help to keep you safe online:

  • Keep your operating system (eg. Windows, Mac OS-X, iOS, Android, etc.) and your browser up to date
  • Register your tablet, computer and/or mobile phone with a location or finder application eg. Find my iPhone
  • Keep your devices updated with the latest anti-virus security suite software. Also use a good firewall
  • Use reputable pop-up blocker software/settings to avoid 'pop-up' or 'pop-under' windows
  • Use strong passwords for online accounts, e-commerce and your local network
  • Secure your computer/tablet or mobile device with a strong password / passcode
  • Avoid questionable websites and content
  • Never 'jail break' or 'reverse engineer' your device as this can compromise its inbuilt security features
  • Never click on links within spam email
  • Never open email attachments unless you can verify the sender and you trust them
  • Never click on pop-up alerts! Don't even click on the cross to delete the pop-up alert as this may result in getting more pop-ups. Instead, close your browser application
  • Never rely on the contact details provided in a pop-up message, spam email or on a suspect website. Instead, find their contact details from an independent source. eg. from a separate internet search, phone directory, etc.

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Strong Passwords

Passwords are very important in keeping your online information secure. What's most important is the strength of the password that you choose. A strong password is...

  • Be at least 8 characters
  • Contain at least 1 character from ALL of the following 4 types:

     - Uppercase letters (eg. A, B, C)
     - Lower case letters (eg. a, b, c)
     - Numbers (eg. 1, 2, 3)
     - Punctuation symbols (eg. ~!@#$%^&*(_)+-=)

  • Never contain any part of a name, address, user ID, the word 'Optus', a day of the week, month of the year or the word 'password'
  • Not be a common word or keyboard sequence (eg. 123, qwerty, asdf, zxcv, poiuy)

You should change your password regularly and never give your password to others

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Anti-Virus / Security Suites

When using the internet it's extremely important to have up-to-date anti-virus software installed on your computer or mobile. Generally if you do a weekly update of your anti-virus you should stay safe or if possible use anti-virus software that has an auto-updating feature that looks for updates whenever you're connected to the internet.

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A firewall is a system designed to prevent unauthorised access to private computers or networks. Firewalls can be implemented in hardware or software. A firewall allows data important to you like websites, email or your network games to get through - while keeping hackers out.

How does a firewall work?

A firewall enforces a policy or set of rules governing the flow of data to and from the outside world. Firewalls that are used to protect home computers are usually based on packet filtering, ie. Data packets (small units of information) are admitted or rejected according to the way these rules are configured. For the typical home user their primary function is to block uninvited incoming connections. Most firewall tools will come with a sensible set of rules by default and require minimal configuration

How do I know if my firewall is working?

As with any security system a firewall should be periodically tested. Most operating system makers eg. Microsoft, Apple, Google etc, offer support for maintaining and testing your firewall on their websites.

Most firewalls are very simple to set up as they already have a comprehensive set of rules built in that require minimal configuration.

Please note: Firewalls don't stop viruses. You need should also use a reputable anti-virus software application to protect your PC.

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What if my Computer/Device has already been Compromised?

If you suspect that you computer/device has been infected, hacked or otherwise compromised, we recommend that you immediately:

  • Stop using the compromised device/computer
  • By phone contact your financial institution(s) and any other service providers (including us!) that you've transacted with online
  • Request new security credentials/cards to be issued for all of your online accounts. eg. credit cards, passwords etc.  
  • Using another secure device change all of your system passwords, including hard disk, network and Wi-Fi security details
  • Notify your email / messaging / social networking providers and change your security details
  • If your computer/device is used for work advise your IT department or tech support team
  • Seek the advice of an IT professional to have your device examined, re-secured or replaced
  • Consider filing a report with the police to minimise the risk of identity theft and fraud

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Further Help & Resources

You can learn more about how to secure your device/computer at:

This site is coordinated by the Communications Alliance (of which Optus is a member) and offers practical tips to help guard against internet fraud, how you can protect your personal information online and how to protect your computer/online device.

In addition, the Australian Government has a range of information on their cyber security website at

The Children’s eSafety Commissioner operates a range of cyber safety and cyber security education and awareness programs designed for children, parents and teachers. To learn more about these programs, visit

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