Your 6-day guide to staying safe online

Cybersecurity
If you have any concerns about cyber safety, check out trusted online sources such as Stay Smart Online. Image: Shutterstock

Cyber crime – hacks and online fraud – cost Australia about $1 billion last year.

In May 2019, one company, property valuation group LandMark White, lost $7 million as the result of a data breach from a cyber attack.

But cyber safety is about more than money. Being the victim of an online scam can be devastating. In June 2019, a Melbourne woman was jailed for two years for pretending to be Australian soap star Lincoln Lewis, faking his identity online and then stalking people through social media. One of the victims of the scam (which is called catfishing) committed suicide. 

If you have any concerns about cyber safety, check out trusted online sources such as the website Stay Smart Online, the Australian government organisation AustCyber and the Schools Cyber Security Challenges, says Michelle Price, AustCyber’s CEO.

RELATED: What jobs are there in cybersecurity?

Also, ask a teacher or trusted adult. “Everything about the economy has a digital component. Whether we’re at home, work or school, or the local cafe, you need to be aware of the risks and benefits of being online. Making sure you’re ready to defend yourself online and being aware of careers in cybersecurity is critical right now,” says Michelle.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre recommends six steps to staying safe online, one day at a time:

Day 1

Create a strong, unique password and turn on two-factor authentication for your bank and purchasing accounts, AppleID, Google account and email account.

Day 2

Create a strong, unique password and turn on two-factor authentication for your social and messaging apps.

RELATED: The healthcare industry: a growing target for cyber attacks

Day 3

Add a PIN/password and turn on automatic updates for your mobile phone, device, home computer and laptop.

Day 4

Install security software on your mobile phone, device, home computer and laptop.

Day 5

Complete the security check-up for your Gmail, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Day 6

Turn off automatic connection to wi-fi and only connect to trusted wi-fi networks on your mobile phone, device, home computer and laptop.

This article was originally published in our special edition of Careers with STEM: Cybersecurity 2019. You can read the e-magazine for free online here.

Heather Catchpole

Author: Heather Catchpole

Heather co-founded Careers with STEM publisher Refraction Media. She loves storytelling, Asian food & dogs and has reported on science stories from live volcanoes and fossil digs

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