For most of us, the internet opens up new opportunities – we can shop, bank, research, work and connect when and where we want to. But the online world can also give criminals opportunities to steal money, information and identities.
 
Stay Smart Online Week, which runs from 9 to 13 October, is a national awareness initiative that puts online security in the spotlight, and reminds us all to set aside some time to focus on the important but easy steps that we can take to stay safe online.
 
This year’s Stay Smart Online Week is all about simple steps to online safety, with a focus on five key areas: privacy of your personal information, strong passwords, software updates, backing up your important information and avoiding online scams. 
 
Thankfully, there are some easy things that we can all do to dramatically improve how we protect our personal and financial information online, and recover if things go wrong. Even small actions can make a huge difference. 
 
Simple steps for individuals include:
Being careful about how much personal information you share online
Create strong passwords and passphrases that are hard for others to guess
Keep your devices updated with the latest software
Regularly back up your data 
Be on the lookout for suspicious emails or messages, and think before clicking on links or opening attachments.
 
Simple steps for businesses include:
Keep software up-to-date on your computers, mobiles and tablets to protect your business and customer information
Install anti-virus software on all of your business devices and set the software to automatically check for updates on a daily basis
Creating strong passwords and passphrases, or use two-factor authentication (2FA) where possible
Regularly back-up your organisation’s data to a storage device (USB or external hard drive) or online (cloud) service
Putting an online security awareness program in place to keep you and your staff informed about good online security practices. 
 
With cybercrime estimated to cost Australians more than $1 billion per year, and around 87% of us accessing the internet every day, it’s more important than ever that we take the time to learn about how to keep our information and assets safe when we’re online. 
 
For more easy to follow tips, or to find out more about Stay Smart Online Week, visit www.staysmartonline.gov.au or follow Stay Smart Online on Facebook.
 

Last updated: 09 October 2017

The information contained in this article is only correct at the point of time of publication. It is general information and has been prepared without taking into account your personal circumstances, objectives or needs. Please consider if this information is right for you before making a decision to acquire any product.