We share a lot of sensitive data and information online, sometimes without thinking, it could be on a social media website, on an online shopping website or even sending emails to our family and friends. This information is not only valuable to you but it is something that cyber criminals would love to access as well.
Think about what you share or even store online… and think about what it would mean if it was lost or stolen.
Keeping this information private and secure means we should focus on five areas of security:
- Passwords – Passwords and PINs are used to identify you. Sometimes they are the only defence to protect your information against unauthorised access. Use a strong and unique password for all website and devices you use.
- Back-up – Data or access to data stored on a personal computer, phone or tablet can be lost, often without any warning. Hardware failure, theft, a virus or malware infection can make recovering your data expensive or impossible. You need to back-up your data. Regularly back-up your data to a removable storage device such as a hard drive, or back up a cloud service.
- Awareness – The more you are informed about online security, the easier it is to incorporate security practices into your everyday life. Sign up to the Stay Smart Online Alert Service to receive information about the latest threats and vulnerabilities and how to address them
- Privacy – Treat your personal information as you would treat your money—don’t leave it lying around for others to take. With your stolen identity, a person may access your bank account, obtain credit cards or loans in your name, or claim welfare benefits, and potentially ruin your credit rating.
- Mobile devices – are vulnerable to loss or theft. Just like your computer at home they can be hacked, infected with a virus and, if unsecured, provide access to your personal information. Treat your smartphone like your wallet; keep it safe and with you at all times.
Remember, the online security measures you take today can not only help protect you from existing threats but also from ones that are yet to emerge.
The Australian Government’s Stay Smart Online Programme offers information to all Australians about being secure and safe online. The Programme also offers a free email Alert Service for people who want to keep up to date with current online threats and how to address them. To sign up for the free Alert Service and for further information on protecting yourself online visit the website at www.staysmartonline.gov.au