Do you remember the days of internet dial up when the modem would screech as it connected to your ISP and you would be ‘going online’?
20-odd years later, we’re now always online. Our phones send information about where we are, to goodness knows who, and our video game consoles check in with the ‘mothership’ every day.
Being more connected than ever means everyday New Zealanders are exposed to websites, apps and technology that exist solely to take advantage of us. Sophisticated online attacks on your money, data or identity are, frustratingly, becoming the norm.
To help promote Safer Internet Day, we were stoked to contribute to Netsafe’s ‘Stay Safe Online’ Reference Guide which features a whole bunch of tips and tricks to keep you and your family safe online.
Here are 10 of the best:
- On social media sites like Facebook, restrict public access to your profile and be careful accepting friend requests from people you don’t know.
- Make your passwords long and include phrases and a mix of letters and numerals. Use a different password for your accounts.
- Don’t share your passwords; even with ‘trusted’ friends.
- When your operating system seeks permission to update itself, let it. Software companies are often doing fixes to close off any loop-holes.
- If you feel like you’re being bullied online, Netsafe provides a service to get help with stopping abuse and harassment.
- If you ever need to use a public computer, make sure you log out of your accounts. You wouldn’t leave your purse in your drive way –always log out of your internet banking!
- If you’re making online shopping purchases, never send money overseas by instant money transfer services like Western Union.
- Ask yourself, who are you buying from? Are they reputable with an established history? Do they have good feedback?
- Be wary what you choose to post online. Do you want your mum to read it? Consider how other people may use what you post. Have you shared private details of another person?
- Keep up with what your young ones are doing online. Sites like YouTube and Facebook have settings for young folks to help shield them from adult content.