10 essential steps to stay cybersafe

July 10, 2023

In today's interconnected world, cyber threats are evolving and becoming increasingly sophisticated. What’s more, they’re targeting businesses of all sizes and people from all walks of life, and often, these threats are difficult to spot until it's too late.

To counter this, CertNZ has a great infographic, with their top practical tips for cyber security. These include:

1. Embrace data backup

Think of data backup as your digital insurance policy. Should a cyber attack render your devices inaccessible, your safely stored backup steps in as your hero. Regularly updating your data onto an external hard drive or a cloud-based service like Dropbox can help ensure your important files are not lost.

2. Stay ahead with updates

Those device and app update notifications might seem annoying, but they’re vital for your digital well-being. These updates patch security vulnerabilities and beef up your device's resilience against potential cyber attacks. It might be a bit of a hassle, but it can save you a lot of trouble.

3. Passwords: your digital locks and keys

Use distinct passwords for each online account, much like using unique keys for different locks. A password manager can be a useful tool to store and manage your passwords securely. Experts recommend using a mix of unrelated words sprinkled with numbers and symbols, creating a robust lock on your online accounts.

4. Extra layer with two-factor authentication

Many online accounts now offer or even require users to set up two-factor authentication (2FA), like an additional lock on your digital door. Even if cybercriminals manage to pick the first lock (your password), they’ll find the second one tricky without your phone, where the authentication code resides.

5. Inventive account recovery answers

When setting up account recovery questions, let your creativity shine. Go beyond the typical and predictable answers to make them tough for cybercriminals to guess. Think of it as your secret handshake with the security system.

6. Use free wifi wisely

Using free wifi is tempting, but remember, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Avoid engaging in sensitive transactions over these networks, much like avoiding confidential conversations in a crowded room. Save your online shopping or banking for secure networks at home.

7. Get an antivirus software for your PC

An efficient antivirus program acts as your digital guardian, scanning for and eliminating potential cyber threats. Trust only reputable antivirus programs, as some online offers can be wolves in sheep’s clothing, causing more harm than good.

8. Be discreet on social media

Excessive sharing on social media can be akin to revealing your house's blueprints to burglars. Carefully manage your privacy settings and limit the amount of personal information you divulge. A picture of your dog is endearing but avoid using your pet’s name as your password.

9. Safeguard your personal information

Be as guarded with your personal information online as you would be with your wallet in a crowded marketplace. Always verify the legitimacy of the requests for such information. If in doubt, contact the organisation directly.

10. Monitor bank statements

Lastly, make sure you regularly review your bank statements: any unexpected purchases or transfers could indicate unauthorised access to your accounts. Always stay vigilant and report any anomalies to your bank immediately.

Stay safe out there!

We hope this guide will help you. By incorporating these steps into your digital routine, you'll strengthen your cybersecurity, making your online journey safer and more enjoyable.

The information contained in this publication is intended for general guidance and information only. It has not been personally prepared for you. Therefore, you should not act on this information if you have not considered the appropriateness of this information to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs. You should consult with us before making any investment decision. Historical market performance may not be indicative of future market performance.