Think Before You Link

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 Director-General's introduction  Publications
 How to report suspicious activities  Videos

Director-General's introduction

Not everyone you meet online is who they say they are. That won’t be news if you’re familiar with the messaging from our colleagues at the Australian Cyber Security Centre and Australian Federal Police about keeping yourself safe online.

But ASIO’s interests are a little different. Our business is to identify those who are trying to recruit Australians with access to sensitive information in order to get them to commit acts of espionage or foreign interference. This includes foreign spies who are targeting online social and professional networking sites.

That’s why this campaign is primarily aimed at Australians with access to sensitive information, such as those of you working in government, defence industry or academia. But our message is a cautionary tale for all Australians—be mindful of what personal information you choose to post online. You could be targeted for information that, if shared, could have serious consequences for Australia’s security, its economy or your business.

When it comes to online targeting by foreign spies, Australia is not alone. Citizens across the world face similar threats. We are working with our partners in the United Kingdom, the United States and New Zealand who have developed similar campaigns.

Be assured we’re not telling people to stop using social media and professional networking sites. We understand these are an important part of how we live and work. We’re simply asking people to be aware of the risks, to think about what they are putting online, and take action if they suspect they are being targeted.

The information we’ve prepared is designed to start the conversation. The message is simple: be aware that foreign spies are targeting Australians online, be discreet about your access to sensitive information, and be responsible—please report suspicious activity that concerns you.

As always, we remain your security service. Stay safe and please think before you link.

Mike Burgess



How to report suspicious activities

If you’re a current or former clearance holder—or have access to sensitive information such as commercial information or research—please contact your agency’s or company’s security manager or adviser to report any suspected malicious profiles or activities. If you don’t have a suitable security contact, please report directly to ASIO via the Notifiable Incidents, Threats or Reportable Observations (NITRO) portal.

When submitting a report, please include:

  • the URL of the profile (if you were approached through a website);
  • a copy of the email or a screenshot of the message or request they sent;
  • a brief explanation of why you think the approach is suspicious; and
  • any other relevant details.

Ensure you disengage from the profile and don’t interact any further.

For more information

ASIO Outreach provides security advice to the sectors of the community impacted by national security threats. For more information on ASIO Outreach or for any inquiries please visit ASIO Outreach or call (02) 6234 1668.


Guidance for security personnel

Briefing pack for managers
and security personnel

Briefing pack for staff

Guide for organisations

A1 poster with cut-out

A3 posters


Guidance for staff

Case study A5 booklet

Online networking guide
A5 booklet

Online networking guide

Wallet card


High-quality PDFs for professional printing

For security personnel

For staff