Advice against hackers from Cyber Security Week
Mon, 11 Jun 2012 6:26p.m.
By Dan Parker
It is estimated cyber crime cost this country $620 million last year.
But security experts say that figure could be slashed if everyone takes a few simple steps.
The advice came at the launch of the country's first ever Cyber Security Week.
An average of 2000 New Zealanders are affected by online scams, identity theft, credit card fraud and sophisticated viruses each day.
“Cyber criminals threaten our personal and business information,” says Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams. “They are becoming better organised and more sophisticated, and of course they don't neatly sit here where we can easily work with them.”
Security Consultant Josh Bahlman understands hackers better than most because for the purposes of his job he his one.
“We wear the ethical hackers’ hat and we go in there and test security vulnerabilities that are published and are out there in the wild to make sure these people, Government departments, banks and other big businesses are not going to get owned by hackers,” says Mr Bahlman of Lateral Security.
But Mr Bahlman says there is a much simpler course of action you can take to avoid becoming a victim.
Start by increasing the strength and complexity of your passwords.
If you have wi-fi, secure it with a password.
Update software and virus protection as often as possible.
Back up your files, so if there is a problem your data isn't lost for good.
“What most hackers are looking for, unless they are really targeting you specifically, they are just wanting as many details as they can because then they can do their fraudulent stuff easily,” says Mr Bahlman.
In New Zealand, that “fraudulent stuff” last year is estimated to have cost $620 million.
That's around $140 for every New Zealander – money that could be easily saved by implementing a bit more caution.
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12/06/2012 4:31:25 p.m.
WebSafety NZ wrote:
WebSafety NZ support such a great initiative. We've seen a number of businesses with poor practices with passwords, potentially making business systems vulnerable.
We've helped various businesses in the South Island understand the importance of better processes in managing technology and security.
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