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NZTech

Stay safe from cyber attacks

We all do it – ignore those pesky red dots and update messages; not quite get around to changing our password; forget to check we’re not sharing our personal information with every Dom, Jack and Hēmi on social media.

Well, now’s the time to embrace updates, make friends with password managers, welcome two-factor authentication into your life and lock down your social media.

We know cyber attacks are becoming more frequent and anyone can be a target. It may come as a surprise, but your personal information is highly valuable to attackers – whether it’s to steal your money or your identity, or just cause mayhem in your online world.

Boost your cyber defence with these four steps:

Step 1. Use a password manager

It’s really important that each of your online accounts has a unique password.  The easiest way to keep track of them is to use a password manager. It’s like an online safe that only you have the key to. It stores and manages your passwords for you and keeps them safe using strong encryption. You only need to remember one strong password for your password manager, and it’ll do the rest!

Step 2. Turn on two-factor authentication

Adding two-factor authentication (2FA) to your login is a simple way to add an extra layer of security to your accounts. It’s an easy extra step after you log in, like entering a code from an app on your phone.  This week, enable 2FA on your apps and accounts.

Step 3. Update your devices

When you’re alerted to an update for your device, don’t ignore it — install it as soon as possible. As well as adding new features, updates fix any security issues or weaknesses that have been found. Updating software prevents attackers from using these vulnerabilities to gain access to your information.  If you can, set the updates to take place automatically whenever a new version is available.

Step 4. Check your privacy

It’s important to know what information you’re sharing, and who you’re sharing it with. We’re so used to sharing online that we don’t always think about how it affects our privacy. Always check that any requests for personal information are legitimate, before you share your details. If a company or business asks you for information, think about why they might need it. If you’re not sure, don’t provide the information.

Report it

If you, your friend, or your business experiences an online incident, report it to CERT NZ.

CERT NZ is a Government agency that helps New Zealanders identify cybersecurity issues and guides them in resolving them.  Learn more at http://www.cert.govt.nz/cybersmart

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