Public urged to stay safe during national cyber security awareness week
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 09:58

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is sending a timely reminder to the Australian public about the need to remain vigilant when it comes to online safety during National Cyber Security Awareness Week (12 – 15 June 2012).

The event is staged annually in partnership with industry, community organisations and all levels of government. More than 700 industry, community and consumer organisations and government agencies will deliver online safety messages during events and activities right across Australia this week.

The week-long campaign aims to educate individuals and small business owners about the simple steps they should take to safeguard their personal and financial information online. In 2012, the AFP is particularly warning internet users to protect their personal details when banking online.

AFP's National Manager of High Tech Crime Operations Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan said education and awareness are the keys to staying safe.

"People need to be aware of cyber risks and should take the time to educate themselves about online dangers and how to avoid them," Assistant Commissioner Gaughan said.

"Without implementing suitable cyber safety and security measures, anyone can be a target of cyber crime.

"I urge the public to always protect their pin and online passwords, check statements, safeguard bank and telephone contacts and ensure their financial institutions are kept informed of travel plans."

The AFP strongly encourages members of the public to implement the following key cyber security tips:

Install and update your security software and set it to scan regularly.

Turn on automatic updates on all your software, particularly your operating system and applications.

Use strong passwords and different passwords for different uses.

Stop and think before you click on links and attachments.

Take care when transacting online – research the supplier and use a safe payment method.

Only download "apps" from reputable publishers and read all permission requests.

Regularly check your privacy settings on social networking sites.

Stop and think before you post any photos or financial information online.

Talk with your child about staying safe online, including on their smartphone or mobile device.

Report or talk to someone if you feel uncomfortable or threatened online – download the Government's Cybersafety Help Button.