Hong Kong Chamber: A Letter from Canberra (Oct 2016)

The internet has transformed the way we live our lives. For many of us, it’s where we communicate. For some, it’s where we shop. For others, it’s even where we fall in love.

But the more of our lives are spent in cyberspace, the more important it becomes to protect yourself online.

The recent Stay Smart Online Week may have just passed, but that doesn’t mean the message is any less applicable.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre’s 2015 Cyber Security Survey found half of respondent businesses had experienced at least one cyber incident in the past twelve months. And for individuals, the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network received more than 41,000 reports of cybercrime – nearly of half of which were scams.

Thankfully, staying smart online doesn’t need to be complicated. No matter whether you’re a business or an individual, with a few, simple steps, you can ensure your on-line experience is safe and secure.

Use complex passwords featuring numerals and special characters, and making sure to use a unique password for each account.

Install a spam filter on your emails and be wary of phishing email attempts that purport to be from a reputable sender, such as a bank, a Government agency or a local utility company.

Make regular backups of your data and keep your software updated to the most recent version.

The Australian Government’s Stay Smart Online website staysmartonline.gov.au has a number of useful tools and guides on everything from privacy and passphrases to online finances and payments, backups and protection.

It also offers a free alerts service that explains recent online threats and offers simple tips as to how they can be managed.

We’ve all heard horror stories of cybercrime. But the internet doesn’t have to be a scary place. With a little preparation and awareness, you can be safely messaging, shopping and dating with the best of them. 

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