5 on the fly: cyber safety tips

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by Sarah Halfpenny

As technology has become more prevalent in our daily lives, so too has the risk of cyber fraud and cybercrime. It’s important to be aware of the risks and take steps to safeguard against them. At the end of the day, you should also listen to your gut instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, stop and don’t proceed until you can talk it over with someone else and get another opinion. You could just save yourself a lot of money and heart ache!

  1. Keep your software up to date

Make sure you keep your computers, mobile phones and tablets updated with the latest software and security patches. This will help to prevent hackers from exploiting any vulnerabilities in your system.

  1. Use strong passwords

Your passwords should be complex, containing a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using obvious words or phrases, such as your name or birthdate, and definitely don’t use the same password across multiple accounts. Get an app like LastPass to securely store all your passwords so you don’t forget them.

  1. Use two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security that requires you to provide a second form of identification, such as a code sent to your phone or email, in addition to your password. This can help to prevent unauthorised access to your accounts.

  1. Be mindful of what you share online

Think twice before sharing personal information online, even for something that seems harmless like entering a competition. Be very wary giving out your full name, address, date of birth or drivers licence details. Avoid oversharing on social media too, as this can provide cyber criminals with valuable information that they can use to impersonate you or steal your identity.

  1. Educate yourself on the latest scams

Stay up-to-date on the latest scams and cyber threats by reading news articles, following reputable websites or social media accounts, and talking to your friends and family about their experiences. The Australian government has a website called the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) dedicated to providing information and resources on cyber security, including advice on how to stay safe online, tips for protecting your personal and financial information, and guidance on how to respond in the event of a cyber-attack or breach.

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