Cyber security tips for the average New Zealander

Cyber security tips for the average New Zealander
Today marks the end of Cyber Security Awareness Week. Richard Booth of RSA Security has some advice on what dangers the average New Zealander needs to look out for.

It may sound exactly like the popular pastime, but unfortunately when it comes to this type of phishing, you could be the unsuspecting victim who should avoid latching onto the bait. 

Today marks the end of Cyber Security Awareness Week, an initiative by non-profit organisationNetSafe to promote and educate New Zealanders in the importance of cyber safety. 

Just like businesses, the average Joe must be aware of how to protect themselves against sophisticated hackers who want to steal their identity for financial gain. 

RSA Security, a network security company and subsidiary of multinational corporation EMC, is responsible for identifying almost 30,000 phishing attacks globally for last month alone.

Richard Booth, an RSA Identity Protection and Verification specialist currently working with ANZ, has offered a few tips for what everyday New Zealanders can look out for.

“The biggest danger is identity theft which could lead to funds being stolen through the compromise of card or bank details.

“What consumers must be wary about is sudden changes to their online banking experience that haven’t been communicated by the bank.

“Unexplained suspicious behaviour by an online banking application should be treated as a concern and perhaps warrants a call to your bank.”

Mr Booth says phishing has the largest attack footprint of any form of hacking because it is low cost and easy to run. Trojan horse viruses are more harmful but less of a risk to New Zealand consumers.

He also thinks the risk to the individual has only increased with the rapidly growing availability of smartphones. To fraudsters, smartphones represent another channel to route their attacks through.

“I hear so many stories where a ‘sophisticated’ attack involves multiple layers of technology and social engineering. Consumers need to constantly vigilant of what they are doing and who they share their personal or financial information with.”

Netsafe says to achieve your computer security goals you need to follow “the computer security tight five”. The “tight five” rules are to think before you click, have an updated operating system, back up your files, secure your wireless network and use strong passwords.


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