This week is Cyber Smart Week in New Zealand. What better time to share some simple tips and reminders on how to be safer online. Xero has partnered with CERT NZ – The Government’s Agency that helps improve cyber security in New Zealand, to educate you on the importance of staying secure online.
Cyber attacks are becoming more frequent, and they can affect anyone. It’s not just large organisations or businesses who are affected — small businesses and everyday New Zealanders are at risk too. Many of these attacks aren’t targeting anyone specifically but are looking for easy ways to get money or information.
Most people don’t think a cyber attack will happen to them. This year, we’re telling people to ‘make sure of it’, and are providing four simple security measures that will safeguard against common attacks.
Here are the CERT NZ’s top 4 ways to prevent you or your business being the target of an attack:
1. Use a password manager
It’s really important that your passwords are different and strong, but it can be hard to remember them all.
The easiest way to remember them and keep them secure is to use a password manager. It’s like an online safe that stores and manages your passwords for you. You’ll only have to remember one master password for your password manager, and it’ll do the rest.
2. Turn on two-factor authentication
Turning on two-factor authentication (2FA) to your login process is an effective way of adding an extra layer of security to your accounts.
It’s a simple extra step after you log in, such as entering a code from an app. You can enable 2FA on most of your online accounts, and on your devices. You’ll usually find the option to turn it on in the privacy settings.
3. Update your devices
When you’re alerted to a new software version for your device, don’t ignore it — install it as soon as possible. Updates add new features and fix issues or vulnerabilities that attackers could use to gain access to your information.
Set the updates to happen automatically whenever a new version is available — then you don’t have to think about it!
4. Check your privacy
To protect your privacy online, it’s important to know what you’re sharing and who you’re sharing it with. Attackers could use your information to try and access your data or steal your identity.
Check that requests for personal information are legitimate before you give any details. If a company or business asks you for information, think about why they might need it. If you’re not sure it’s necessary, don’t provide it.