Protecting Your Personal Information

Protecting Your Personal Information

Your personal information is a valuable asset that you must safeguard to prevent identity theft and other forms of fraud. With just some basic details such as your name, date of birth, address, myGov information or tax file number (TFN), thieves can wreak havoc on your financial and personal life. Therefore, it is crucial to take steps to protect your personal information and keep it safe from prying eyes.

One important measure to protect your personal information is shredding or destroying sensitive documents, including old tax returns, bills, bank statements, credit card offers and other records containing personal information. Shredding these documents before discarding them can prevent thieves from rummaging through your trash and obtaining your personal details. 

However, it’s important to note that there are certain documents that you need to retain for a certain period of time for legal and tax purposes. As an individual taxpayer in Australia, you must keep tax records for 5 years from the date of lodgment of your tax return. For instance, if you lodged your 2017 tax return with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on July 15, 2017, you must retain the relevant information until July 15, 2022.

Similarly, if you are a business owner, there are specific requirements for retaining financial records. For example, companies, trusts, partnerships, and businesses are generally required to keep documents such as receipts, invoices, bank statements, and records of levies for a period of 7 years. Additionally, communication sent and received by owners, corporations and strata committees, including emails, documents, meeting minutes, and signed contracts, should also be retained for 7 years from the date of lodgment.

In addition to legal requirements, regulatory bodies such as the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) also have regulations for companies to retain and keep certain records for several years. This includes financial records, audit reports and other relevant documents.

The ATO recommends the following support numbers to obtain guidance and advice if necessary:

ID Care –

ph: 1800 595 170 (Quote ATO21-IDC to obtain free advice)

ACSC – Cybersecurity Centre

ph: 1300 292 371.

Apart from document retention, being cautious about sharing personal information online is essential. Be wary of sharing sensitive information on social media or other online platforms, and only provide personal details to reputable and trusted websites. In addition, use strong and unique passwords for your online accounts and enable multi-factor authentication wherever possible for an extra layer of security.

Furthermore, be cautious of unsolicited emails, phone calls or messages that request your personal information. Be sceptical of requests for personal information, even if they claim to be from legitimate organisations. Always verify the authenticity of such requests through official channels before providing any information.

By being proactive and protecting your personal information, you can safeguard your identity and prevent falling victim to identity theft or fraud. Remember, prevention is always better than a cure when it comes to protecting your personal information. So stay vigilant and prioritise the security of your personal information at all times. 


For more information, please contact us at 1800 618 800 or via email at

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