The focus of today’s World Consumer Rights Day is data security and we’re here to remind you to stay safe online.
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How much of your information does someone need to access your bank account? Often it’s as little as your birthdate and address, plus another small piece of info such as your mobile number, your kids’ names, or the last bank transaction you made. You might be surprised just how easy it is for someone to find that information online.
How much do you share on social media? Is your mobile number on there? Your birthday? Photos of your house that give away your address? It’s part of how sites like Facebook are able to serve you targeted ads. But it can also be used by scammers. Search the site’s privacy settings and lock down your data to only those you trust.
In the past few years, we’ve seen WiFi-enabled toys broadcasting children’s conversations to anyone who wanted to listen, a massive network of hacked internet-connected appliances taking down websites such as Twitter and Sony’s PlayStation Network and even internet-connected cars have been taken over and stopped in the middle of the road. All of these were because of poor data security.
So-called “cyber” attacks are on the rise and scammers are getting more sophisticated. Businesses are being targeted as well as individuals. A recent survey of small businesses in New Zealand, by security firm Norton, found 20% had been targeted by a cyber-attack and that 16% of laptops and 28% of mobiles phone were not password protected. Those numbers are far too high. Are your devices password protected?
Don’t make it easy for the attackers. Remember the basics:
Following these tips goes a long way to keeping you safe online. Add some good security software to the mix, make sure you keep all your software up-to-date, and you can feel confident you and your information will stay out of harm’s way.
By Hadyn Green
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