Cyber attacks are becoming more common, and anyone can be targeted. It may come as a surprise, but your personal information is highly valuable to attackers. Yes, cyber baddies are interested in getting your stuff – whether it’s to steal your money or your identity, or just cause mayhem in your online world. As with many risks, prevention is the best approach, which is why we’re encouraging all New Zealanders to increase their cyber resilience so they’re less vulnerable to attacks.
So, step up your cyber defence by taking these four steps – they’re known to improve cyber security and are pretty straightforward to implement.
Step 1. Use a password manager
Using strong and unique passwords for each online account is so important. The easiest way to keep track of them all is with a password manager. It’s like an online safe that stores and manages your passwords. You’ll only have to remember the one master password for your password manager, and it’ll do the rest.
Step 2. Turn on two-factor authentication
Turning on two-factor authentication (2FA) is an easy way to add another layer of security to your logins and accounts.
It's a simple extra step after you log in, such as entering a code from an app. You can enable 2FA on most of your online accounts, and your devices. You’ll usually find the option to turn it on in the privacy settings.
Step 3. Update your devices
When you're alerted to a software update for your device, don't ignore it - install it as soon as possible. Updates not only add new features, they fix bugs and vulnerabilities attackers can use to gain access to your information.
Set updates to happen automatically whenever a new version is available. Then you don’t have to think about it!
Step 4. Check your privacy
To maintain your privacy online, it’s important to know and control who can see your stuff. Attackers could use your information to access your data or steal your identity. Lock down your accounts – starting with social media.
Check that requests for personal information are legitimate before you give any details. If you're not sure, don't provide the information.
If you, a friend, family member or colleague experiences an online incident, report it to CERT NZ. We’re a government agency that helps New Zealanders identify cyber security issues and guides them in resolving them.
Your report is confidential. Lessons from it can be shared with other New Zealanders. This helps raise their awareness of cyber security and helps them understand how to protect themselves from incidents like yours.