In the wake of the cyber attacks on Latitude this month, which has now been revealed to be worse than initially estimated, the Financial Services Council [FSC] is urging New Zealanders to remain vigilant in the face of cybercrime.
This event is causing great distress and concern on both sides of the Tasman for the millions of people who’ve had their privacy breached.
The Latitude example is an unfortunate reminder that no one is immune to cyber attacks. This is not a once off, but part of an alarming pattern that we’ve seen impact businesses, individuals and even government entities both in New Zealand and overseas.
Indeed cyber attacks are highly disruptive and on the rise globally. Cyber criminals target businesses and individuals through ransomware, phishing and other tactics, often from outside New Zealand, and it is a very lucrative industry for cyber criminals exploiting us.
Our research shows that being cyber aware is on New Zealanders minds however it is not always front of mind, despite recent high-profile attacks in New Zealand, with, worryingly, around 20% of our research respondents saying that they aren’t concerned about online fraud, identity theft or a scam that could result in financial loss.
Incidents like these highlight how these fears can be warranted, and how important it is to safeguard and protect our personal data at all times. Following some basic steps can help prevent us falling victim to cyber attacks, or at least to respond quickly when they do strike:
- Create strong passwords or passphrases to protect your information and consider using a password manager to prevent password re-use.
- Set up two factor authentication.
- Check your home network to ensure there is not anyone piggy backing on your network and accessing your devices.
- Be aware of dodgy emails, don’t open or click on any links, report them to the business they are emulating and delete them.
- If you are working from home, check-in with your employer to make sure you are following all their cyber security advice and support.
- Report scams to Cert NZ or to your financial services provider.
- Get up to speed about how to avoid falling victim to cyber scams in our Money & You webinar, How to protect yourself and your money online
To find out more, watch the replay of our recent cyber security webinar and take Cert NZ’s Cyber Security Quiz to improve your online safety today.
- Richard Klipin, FSC CEO