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Protecting Yourself Online

Date Published: 28/10/2022

Cat memes, fail videos, face filters – the internet is awesome! Unfortunately, not all internet users are as great. Some go online just to cause trouble and steal from others. There has been a lot of talk about cyber safety in Australia recently after the Optus and Medibank data breaches. Names, email addresses, ID documents and phone numbers have been compromised in some of the most recent attacks, exposing people to identity theft and fraud.

So, how can you stay safe online?

Behind the News created the video below back in 2019 in response to the computer networks of parliament and several political parties being broken into by overseas criminals. The video offers some information about cybercrime and what ordinary people can do to stay safe. Some of their suggestions for staying safe online include:

  • Having hard-to-guess passwords and keeping them to ourselves,
  • Ignoring dodgy looking emails and texts,
  • Thinking twice about what we download and share online.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre have loads of information to help you stay safe online. The poster below outlines just 5 ways you can protect your data.

cyber_security_poster_-_for_kids

The eSafety Commissioner also has some great tips for protecting yourself online. The key points are summarised below:

  • When you are online, information like your full name, date of birth, contact information and where you live are like the keys to your house. Be careful with them!
  • Remember, once you share something online it is very difficult to take it back. It could be shared or copied by someone else. Ask permission before you share! If you are unsure, don’t share it!
  • Make sure all your passwords are strong, secret and safe. Strong passwords are long and hard to guess. Always keep your passwords secret.
  • Always ask an adult before downloading something, spending money or using gift cards online. Watch out for sneaky online tricks to make you pay without knowing or online scams.
  • Don’t reply to any messages that make you feel uncomfortable, unsafe, scared or a bit weird. Tell your mum, dad, carer or a trusted adult.
  • Be careful if you feel that something is not right. Maybe someone’s online profile looks like they are your age, but it does not match what you see or hear when you talk or chat with them. Or maybe they ask you to send photos of yourself. Tell your mum, dad, carer or a trusted adult. They can help to keep you safe and work out what to do.

Just remember, cybercriminals are always coming up with new ways to target people online. It never hurts to brush up on your cyber security know-how from time to time and learn new ways to stay secure!

References

Australian Broadcasting Corporation. (2019, February 26). Cyber Attacks. Behind the News. https://www.abc.net.au/btn/classroom/cyber-attacks /10834010

Australian Government. (n.d.). Cyber Security for kids. Australian Cyber Security Centre. https://www.cyber.gov.au/cyber-security-kids

Australian Government eSafety Commissioner. (n.d.). Things to watch out for with online friends. eSafety Kids.https://www.esafety.gov.au/kids/be-an-esafe-kid/things-to-watch-out-for-with-online-friends

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