Sue’s tips address top NZ web security worries

20/20's Sue West talking to AUT security students
20/20’s Sue West talking web security to AUT students

Recently 20/20 Auckland manager Sue West was a guest lecturer for AUT students of the  COMP607 Information Security Technologies course. Dr William Liu, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for MCIS/PGDip CIS/PGCert CIS/BCIS (Hons) at Auckland University of Technology (AUT), invited Sue because of her expertise and knowledge of digital inclusion and also web security related challenges and opportunities.

Sue’s top 5 tips for web security

Here are Sue’s top 5 tips, addressing top security issues from the InternetNZ June 2017 survey of New Zealand perceptions of the Internet.

  1. Internet protection softwaremake sure you have internet protection software on your computer, update regularly and scan everyday.
    This will help protect against viruses, Trojan Horses, adware and other malware.
  2. Login informationuse strong passwords and login information that is different for each important website/App.
    This will help guard against identity theft. A password can be made stronger by

    • including a mix of upper and lower case, numbers and special characters
    • using random characters
    • making it longer – at least 8 characters long, ideally 13
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Password_strength have good information about what works – and what doesn’t – in keeping passwords secure.
  3. EmailBe careful about the emails you open in your Inbox – scan email attachments before opening them.
    Be suspicious – if an offer sounds too good to be true, it is 99.99% likely to be a scam. Also, don’t trust visible links in emails – the underlying link address may be quite different.  Retype the links in your browser.
  4. Software downloads: Scan software file downloads before you install it or use an online scanner
    Downloading from reputable sites will help too. And (as above) don’t reach software download sites by clicking on emailed links.
  5. Online payments – make sure that the website address has the “https://” before the website url. This indicates a secure, encrypted, ‘safe’ page. Never share credit card details with others.
    And (as above) don’t reach payment sites by clicking on emailed links.  Type the address in to your browser.

More information

Security good practices – and the confidence you gain by following them – are included in 20/20’s digital skills courses:

Netsafe has online security advice for New Zealanders (and advice on  Online Bullying & Harassment and Scams)