Back to Basics - Staying Safe Online

Hardly a day goes by without a news report of another scam or hack in which innocent people lose time, money or their identity in cyber attacks. However, people can engage online and keep themselves safe at the same time without needing to become cyber security experts.

The first step is awareness.

People who aren't aware of the need to protect themselves online are more likely to fall for scams or be successfully targeted by hackers. The good news is that it's relatively easy for people to protect themselves online. 

There are five basic security measures that are essential:

  • Use unique passwords and multi-factor authentication to make it harder for attackers to access multiple accounts.
  • Update apps to close security gaps. App-makers are constantly refining and improving their apps to make them perform better and be more secure, and     these updates are free so there’s no reason users shouldn’t keep them updated to the latest version.
  • Check privacy settings to ensure data isn’t being shared with third parties.
  • Be aware of the risk of phishing attacks as well as the form these attacks could take. Phishing attacks rely on social engineering techniques to trick users   into divulging information or making unauthorized payments or purchases.
  • Don’t post on social media when executives are travelling. This information can be used to mount a successful phishing attack.

Phishing attacks or social-engineering attacks are on the rise, where cyber criminals trick people into divulging details and participating in scams. There is a continued need to stay vigilant online especially as cyber threats continue to evolve and increase.

Palo Alto Networks system engineering director Phillip Dimitriu. (October 2018). Back to basics: Five ways to stay safe online. Retrieved from NZ Security Brief -