Small Business Technology, Skills and Training Boost

Small Business Technology, Skills and Training Boost

On March 29 2022, the Morrison Government announced it will support Australian small businesses and encourage them to invest in digital technology, skills and training. The new measures are subject to decisions from the new Government.

Small Business Technology Investment Boost

The boosts are for eligible businesses that have less than $50 million in annual turnovers. Suitable businesses can claim eligible tech spending, of up to $100,000, until June 30 2023, in their 2022-23 tax return.

Small Business Skills & Training Boost

The Skills and Training Boosts will give small businesses access to a further 20% deduction on eligible external training courses for upskilling their employees. The Skills and Training Boost will apply to costs incurred from March 2022 until 30th June 2024, delivering $550 million in tax relief.

What can be claimed?

Claim on expenditures and depreciating assets that support digital uptake. Budget documents suggest SMEs will be free to claim the cost of

Scenario where a plumbing company has 100 employees and an annual turnover of $40 million. Employer purchases 50 laptops costing $90,000, creates a new website for $20,000 and pays $200,000 for training for his employees. At tax time, the company is able to deduct an extra $62,000 and reduce their tax bill to $15,500
How to create a strong password

How to create a strong password

81% of security breaches occur as a result of simple passwords – 36% of those breaches are via phishing attacks. Cybercrime is at a record high, so we are hoping these tips will help you keep your data safe online.

Due to increasing identity fraud and cyber-attacks, we aim to inform you about what a great password should look like and how you can keep your credentials secure. Applying these tips will increase your online security and reduce the risk of a data breach.

Add a variety of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols into your password

Use a combination of characters.

Use a variety of UPPERCASE and lowercase letters, at least one number (for example 0-9) AND one character (for example !@#$%).

Do not reuse your passwords. If your password is compromised, changing the password slightly does not make it more secure.

Don’t re-use your passwords.

More than one account will be at risk if your password is compromised.

When updating your passwords, ensure they are distinctly original because a slight change will not make them more secure.

Avoid using personal information in your passwords.

Using personal information in your passwords, such as your date of birth, pet and children’s names can make it easier for someone to hack into your account.

The longer the better!

Long passwords that contain a variety of characters will be more secure.

Change your password regularly*

*Changing to a new password every three months can limit breaches to multiple accounts and help your data stay secure online. Ensure your passwords are completely different and do not use a variation of the previous password.

Use a password manager.

There are a number of password managers available to individuals and businesses. A password manager gives you a central location to store all of your passwords. Password managers can generate secure passwords too!

How to Identify a Phishing Attack

How to Identify a Phishing Attack

There is no doubt you have seen or heard about the scam emails, texts, and phone calls that are a daily nuisance for everyone. It may be in an email, phone call, or text format. The scam message could lure you in many ways; It may tell you that you have won a prize or a notification about an internet order or package delivery.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a type of social engineering where the attacker sends fake messages to trick a person into disclosing sensitive details to the attacker or deploys malicious software onto a device to get private information. Phishing scams usually require the recipient to perform an action such as clicking a link, downloading a file or entering a password. 

Tactics Phishing Attackers Use

Look out for emails and texts with: 

  • Generic greetings such as “Hello Customer” rather than an actual name.
  • Emails requesting personal information
  • Emails demanding an urgent response
  • Emails that say you won a prize for something that you didn’t enter
  • Messages with poor spelling and grammar
  • Messages asking for money
  • Mismatched links in the email body
  • Spoofed links. Never click on a link unless you are certain it is authentic. You can hover over it first to reveal its true destination. If the email claims to be from your bank, they will never ask you to log in from an email. Also, secure links should begin with HTTPS://
  • If in doubt, ask your I.T support person
Always be suspicious of texts, emails & calls from unknown sources

Scam Phone Calls: Tactics to look out for:

  • Unknown phone numbers
  • Calls seeking your personal information
  • Recorded messages that ask for payment or personal data
  • Callers who say there is an issue with your computer
  • Callers who require your action urgently.
  • Offers or deals that sound too good to be true
  • If the caller claims to be your bank and asks for your information
  • If the caller threatens you

How can you protect your business from phishing attacks?

  • Phishing awareness training – Most successful attacks occur due to employees unknowingly clicking on dangerous links in their emails.
  • If you suspect a phishing email, you can check online for scams related to the email topic or company. For example, if the email claims to be from PayPal, check PayPal’s website or sites such as www.scam-detector.com
  • Installing Endpoint Protection software such as Sophos, will add an extra layer of security and warn you if you click on a suspicious link. Ask us for a free trial!
  • Get an I.T support team with exceptional cyber security knowledge and experience. We are happy to help! Ask us about our priority I.T support options.
Spike in NBN Scams: Tips and Tricks

Spike in NBN Scams: Tips and Tricks

IT News: Tips to not Fall Victim to NBN Scams!

IT Support: NBN scam alert

A significant increase in suspected internet connection scams has occurred as of late, with NBN Co. receiving over 100 calls a day from members of the public about such scams. NBN Co. is currently in the process of rolling out the $50 billion network.

For a reliable supplier of NBN compatible phone systems and more, click here!

Calls to NBN’s contact centre have reached 9500 over the last three months, representing a significant increase from 6700 between October 2018 and March 2019. This comes as a sizable portion of the network is being completed ahead of the 2020 ETA. Driving awareness to combat these attacks, NBN Co’s chief security officer addressed the cause for concern by having this to say: “As we close in on the end of the network build, scammers are increasing their efforts to take advantage of the NBN brand as a way to steal people’s personal or financial details and using increasingly sophisticated ways to convince people of their legitimacy”.

What You Need to Know

NBN Co will never make unsolicited calls to seek access to your computer, threaten disconnection, or request personal details

This public awareness campaign will involve NBN Co’s community engagement team, hosting a series of information sessions to help Australians discern, avoid and report scammers. The ACCC has previously warned of social engineering attacks where scammers impersonate NBN Co in calls offering to connect them to the NBN for a low price. In some of these cases, impersonators have tricked users into giving remote access to their computers so that they could steal personal information, install malware and demand payment to fix alleged problems. If you run into someone calling you about the NBN remember this: “As NBN Co is a wholesaler, we will never contact residents or businesses to sell phone or internet services”.

Moreover, NBN Co will never make unsolicited calls or door knock for the purposes of seeking access to a person’s computer, threaten them with disconnection, or request personal details. Despite increasing public awareness, Australians are expected to lose a record amount to scams this year, with the ACCC estimating that projected losses for 2019 will surpass $500 million (an unprecedented figure).”Many people are confident they would never fall for a scam but often it’s this sense of confidence that scammers target,” the ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard states. “People need to update their idea of what a scam is so that we are less vulnerable.”

The Damage

The ACCC reports that investment scams were among the most sophisticated and convincing, with nearly half of the reported cases this year resulting in financial loss. Particularly, cryptocurrency investment scams are a serious cause for concern, with net losses reaching almost $15 million between January and July this year. This represents a significant increase from $6.1 million lost to the same type of scams last year.

You can report any suspected scams you come across here.

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4g Failovers for Network Reliability

4g Failovers for Network Reliability

4g Failovers for Network Reliability
IT Support Brisbane


When is Network Reliability Important?

For many businesses it is highly important that their internet connection remains online with as few interruptions as possible. These businesses include those who perform most of their business activities online and where these activities must be performed in a timely manner. These are not the only businesses who may require reliability, and if you are wondering whether your business is one of these, simply ask yourself the following question. Are you often frustrated with internet outages and do they impact your work? If so, yours is indeed one of these businesses.

Such network reliability depends on reliable hardware (such as routers) as well as internet connections and service providers. Unfortunately, all service providers have the occasional outage, but luckily network hardware can be used to ‘hedge your bets’ as it were. Using a router with Failover capabilities can improve the availability of your business’s network connection.

WAN Failover

High Availability Network Setup

Network Failover Diagram

A WAN failover (sometimes termed a 4g failover) is suitable for use when a business has one or more networks which require as little interruption as possible. This feature is available with Network Setup from Key Technologies.

A business may have both a primary and secondary internet connection. This generally uses one traditional copper line or NBN service and a secondary 3g or 4g dongle as a failover, though just about any second internet connection can be used. This secondary (failover) connection comes into use when the first goes down. For example, a business could have a prepaid 4g modem with no ongoing costs plugged into the router on standby mode. Thus, if the primary link goes down the router is triggered to bring up the backup connection. This can take up to 10 seconds, so there may be a brief interruption, but far less than what could alternatively occur. If you would like even less downtime than this, then you may want to ask us about WAN load-balancing routers.

Additionally, with Multi-WAN routers, you can choose when you want to activate the backup or failover service. An example of these options is shown below. You may failover when either:

  • Any selected WANs are disconnected.
  • All WAN’s selected are disconnected.
Network Failover Options: IT Support Network Setup

Need Help Setting Up a Reliable Network

Our IT support staff are able to set up networks with high availability, integrity and confidentiality.


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Smartphone Safety

Smartphone Safety

Keeping your phone safe online
IT support Brisbane

A vast abundance of information can be found on our phones. Specifically, they hold an inordinate amount of information about ourselves and the way we live our lives. From banking information, location data, eating and shopping habits, correspondence and, with the emergence of smart wear, even our heart rates are accessible on our phones. Some have even compared them to houses based on the detailed information they contain about us. A 2002 study actually found that when people were shown the rooms of other people who they had never met, they could accurately guess the personality traits of that person (all except neuroticism at least).

It begs the question of what a person may figure out about us if they were given access to our phones. For many of us, the thought of this may be as scary, if not more so, than that of a stranger seeing the insides of our houses. This is somewhat unsurprising, based on the seemingly endless slew of news headlines highlighting the prevalence of cyber criminals taking peoples’ private information from phones, computers and cloud storage. It is a pretty clear message really, BE SCARED OF WHAT YOUR PHONE COULD DO, but maybe it should be about what your phone could be made to do. After all, smartphone safety would probably be a pretty confusing phrase in a world without hackers. This begs the question, how do you make sure your phone isn’t being made to do something you don’t want it to do?

Well firstly, you’ll never be able to make ‘sure’ of this. Any type of computer is made to be somehow accessible, and people are bound to misuse that access in some way. It’s like driving a car, or owning a house; sometimes cars crash, even when driven by the best drivers, and sometimes houses get broken into, despite having good security. Likewise, there is always a small possibility that your phone can get hacked and data will be stolen. The trick is to minimise that likelihood, and if a piece of information is too sensitive, don’t keep it on your phone. Luckily, our IT support team have provided some pointers on how to keep your phone safe online. The following 5 pointers could save you a lot of trouble down the road, enjoy:

Smartphone Safety Tips from KeyTech IT Support Brisbane

  1. Adjust your privacy and security settings, or at the very least look at and try to remember them. These settings control what “permissions” apps have on your phone, and what information they have access to. Think of this as the doors inside your house, if you have someone inside like a tradie doing renovations, you’re likely to close any doors that lead into rooms you don’t trust them in. You would, however, leave open the doors they need open in order to complete the work you want them to do.
  2. Set your apps to update over Wi-Fi automatically. Apps that are not up to date become more of a risk, the longer they are not updated. Yes, we all get fed up with updates from time to time, but many times app developers will update their app when a security vulnerability is found so that people on the latest version are safe. There is no protection for old versions of software. It’s like changing your locks if your keys and wallet get lost or stolen. You wouldn’t feel safe if someone out there knew where you lived and how to get in, and it really should not be any different with a smartphone.
  3. Whenever the app or service allows it, try to use 2-factor or multi-factor authentication. Basically, this stops people from getting into your account by having them enter a code that displays on your phone or having a notification show up on your phone that asks you to verify the log-in request. On mobile apps, it is more likely that the verification will be a text message with a code you can then enter into the app. Thus verifying that it is your phone (or a phone with your phone number) signing in. This is like having a lock and an alarm with a code at the entrance to your house. You not only have to know something (the password or alarm), you need to have something (the key or phone) in order to gain access, and those notifications to verify requests, like alarms, can tip you off that your password could be at risk.
    • Fun fact, other multi-factor authentication systems can actually go further than this. Some use such features as the pattern of your iris (the coloured part of the eye) or facial structure to add a further step of verification. Thus, to access the account, you’d have to know something, have something and be something, making security breaches highly unlikely.
  4. All of our online apps and accounts require passwords, but we all forget these from time to time. We’ve all had to reset a password, generally by sending a link to our email. Just make sure you use a strong password for this email. It should be unique (different from your other passwords), seemingly random (not using easily guessable components like your place of birth, birthday, favourite pet or another well-known personal detail), and relatively long (although it is just as good to make it more random and involving special characters, as long as it has around 10 characters minimum).
  5. We’re all human, and naturally, we have fallible memories. So if you want to avoid constantly having to reset passwords (and if you’re like me, realise what the old password was because that’s what you tried to set the new one as), using a password manager might be for you. Do bear in mind however that your password manager holds the proverbial “keys to the kingdom” and should be protected accordingly. That means, along with seemingly random passwords, 2-factor authentication is a good idea for this. One helpful password manager service that allows 2-factor authentication and helps you create a strong password is called LastPass. I would recommend it to those who have trouble remembering all their passwords.

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