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Internet safety

Police and our partners are committed to preventing New Zealanders from becoming victims of cybercrime by empowering them to use technology safely and securely.

Cyber safety

Cyber safety is the safe and responsible use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Here are some online safety suggestions.

  • Don’t give out any private information over the internet or through mobile phones about you, your family, friends or other people that you know
  • Only accept friend requests from people you actually know
  • Don’t engage or respond to trolling or abuse; report it to the provider
  • Don’t believe everything you read – make sure you know it’s coming from a reliable source
  • Don’t hide behind a computer screen. If you wouldn’t say it to their face, don’t say it at all
  • If you are suspicious of a website, carry out a web search to see if you can find out whether or not it is fraudulent

Further information about cyber safety can be found online at the Netsafe website.

Cyber security

Cyber security is the protection of internet-connected systems.  Attacks are increasingly common and come in varying forms, so it is important to protect yourself and your family. Technology alone will never be able to fully protect you, as attackers also know that the easiest way to bypass even the most advanced security is by exploiting you. There are many ways to reduce the risks and those include:

  • Use a password manager and implement two factor authentication for online accounts
  • Install and enable a firewall and anti-virus software
  • Continually update your operating system and all other installed software
  • Don’t click on links within emails or open attachments that you weren’t expecting
  • Be wary of web browser pop-ups that require you to install software or a plugin
  • Log into your operating system with a non-administrative account
  • Back up your data by regularly making a secondary copy to a storage device. The storage device should only be online and conected to your computer when you're doing backups.

Further information on cyber security can be found at CERT NZ.

Mobile phone security

Mobile phones provide a range of functionality and store a wealth of your personal information and provide access to online accounts such data as emails, banking, photos/videos, contacts, browser history, cloud storage, social media access and more.

Consider making the following mobile security hygience practices part of your routine:

  • Enable screen lock features of your phone such as a PIN, a swipe pattern, fingerprint ID, voice recognition, etc.
  • Back up your mobile data regularly
  • Update your mobile phone's operating system
  • Be careful of what public Wi-Fi and free hotspots you connect to and refrain from logging into accounts
  • Be cautious of what mobile apps you install and what permissions they require

Should you lose your mobile or it gets stolen it is advised that some prevention solutions are put in place.

  • Enable ‘Find My Mobile’ (Android) or ‘Find My iPhone’ (iPhone) to assist in tracking your device if it's lost or stolen. If it does go missing:
    • Inform your mobile provider of your mobile's absence. They may be able to blacklist your device’s IMEI to stop it from being used on their network.
    • If you've been doing regular backups, consider wiping your mobile remotely.

Identity theft

Misuse of your personal information can lead to offences relating to scams or fraud, such as creating new accounts for credit against your identity. Your information can also be used against you via social engineering techniques to get gain access to your financial accounts. More personal attacks can also happen, such as imposter social network profiles that can lead to online bullying or harassment.

Identity thieves commonly seek the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone numbers
  • Birthdate
  • Bank account number
  • Credit card number
  • Passport
  • Driver licence

There are many ways that personal or even financial information can be obtained, therefore we recommend you do the following:

  • Review your social network privacy settings and security options
  • Don’t give out personal information in response to an unsolicited email or phone call
  • Be mindful of what personal information you post online and who can see it
  • Don't log into personal accounts from a shared or public computer or Wi-Fi such as an Internet cafe
  • Remove all personal information and photos from your computer and mobile phone before you sell or dispose of them
  • Don’t scan or photograph government issued documents and upload them to websites or email them as an attachment

Advice and support for victims of identity theft