New Zealand’s annual cyber security awareness campaign, Cyber Smart Week kicks off on 10 October. This year CERT NZ, the government agency behind the campaign, is challenging all New Zealanders to take their online security game to the NEXT LEVEL.
“Research shows that New Zealanders need to be doing more to protect their online lives,” CERT NZ Director Rob Pope said, “with less than half the population doing the basics like switching their privacy settings and using different passwords across important accounts, many are exposed to the risk of cyber security incident and that can lead to things like losing money and private information”
“That’s why Cyber Smart Week is a great reminder for us all to up our game and be more secure online.”
The challenges don’t take much time but make can make a significant difference to your online security by protecting your online accounts, finances and personal information – they’ll also help keep your loved ones protected from scams too.
1, Strengthen your password game
Long, strong and unique passwords are harder to crack.
Up your online security game with long, strong and different passwords for each account – 15 characters or more is key!
It can be tricky coming up with strong passwords, so try making passphrases instead – a random phrase of four or more words. They’re easy to remember but hard for attackers to crack. For example, “JumpingTortoiseLiveWhanganui”
2, Power-up by turning on two-factor authentication
Keep attackers out of your online accounts with a second layer of defence.
Double down and protect your online accounts from attacks with two-factor authentication (2FA). It’s like a secret key for your online accounts that’s used on top of your password.
It’s usually a unique code sent to your phone or taken from an app that only you have access to. Having 2FA turned on means even if an attacker gets your login details, they still won’t get in.
3, Update to full strength
Activate auto updates on apps and devices to dodge security weaknesses.
Updates help keep your apps and devices healthy. Updates aren’t just about getting the latest features available on apps and devices; they also protect you from any weaknesses that could let attackers in. The easiest way to do this is by going to settings and turning on automatic updates – then you just let it do its thing.
4, Boost your privacy defence
Switch social media settings to private to protect your personal info.
Your personal information is gold for attackers. Make sure your social media settings are switched over to ‘Private’ or ‘Friends only’ – this way, you can control who sees what information you share and who you’re sharing it with. This not only protects yourself, but also your friends, family and followers from scams.
The consequence of having weaker cyber security is making yourself and your whānau more vulnerable to attacks. This could result in unauthorised access of your bank or email accounts, through someone impersonating you on social media to scam your friends.
“Sometimes, when they hear about big incidents and millions of dollars lost, New Zealanders can think they won’t be a target,” said Pope. “However, we’ve found people are more likely to lose between $100 to $500 to cyber scammers. This is still a big loss for a lot of people. These four challenges, however, will stop most attempts to take your money or information.”
Check out the Cyber Smart Week page below: