Internet safety

The NZ Police along with 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) and the following advice are 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 of cyber safety can be found online at the Netsafe website.

Cyber security

Cyber security is the protection of internet-connected systems.  It is essential as 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
  • Backup your data by regularly making a secondary copy to a storage device and when not in use remains offline and disconnected from the computer

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 the following mobile security hygiene practices be common place

  • Enable screen lock feature of your phone such as; pin, swipe pattern, fingerprint, voice recognition, etc.
  • Back up your mobile data regularly
  • Update your mobile phones 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 phone
  • Inform your mobile provider who may be able to blacklist your phone’s IMEI to stop it from being used on their network
  • If regular backups are performed then consider remote wipe of the phone

Identity theft

Use of personal information can lead to offences relating to scams or fraud such as creating new accounts for credit against your identity. Additionally your information can be used against you via social engineering techniques to get gain access to your financial accounts. Other implications can involve more personal attacks such as imposter social network profiles that can lead to online bullying or harassment

Common forms of identity sought will involve 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 it is recommended the following be adhered to

  • 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
  • Do not log into personal accounts from a shared or public computer or Wi-Fi such as an Internet café
  • Remove all person 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