This week Amy Adams, Minister for Communications and Informations Technology, along with NetSafe kicked off New Zealand’s first Cyber Security Awareness Week. Cyber security is a major issue nationally and internationally, and poor cyber security practices cost New Zealanders around $625 million in 2011 (Norton Cyber Crime 2011 report).
To coincide with the launch, NetSafe have created a website that addresses cyber security issues in a very user-friendly way. The site has some helpful suggestions for how to keep you and your computer safe, visit the new web site.
In a recent New Zealand survey only 2% of users knew about turning on Auto Update for their computer, and less than 50% knew if their antivirus software was up to date. At the launch of the Cyber Security Awareness Week there was a demonstration of how to easily hack someone’s Facebook account using a wireless sniffer that is easily available for download on the Internet (hence the need to have suitable wireless security in place). This is incredibly concerning.
Now is a great time to consider how you keep yourself, your students and your teachers’ cyber secure. Remember the following 4 key things you can do that actually address the majority of cyber security issues faced by users:
- Update everything – make sure all software is up to date, including your anti virus
- Backup your files – regularly copy your files and ensure they are stored in different locations
- Secure your wireless network – use a strong password and long passphrase for your router
- Use strong passwords – include a mix of lower case and upper case letters, symbols and numbers and try to use a minimum of 15 characters
What are you doing to ensure your school and students are cyber secure?
Douglas Harré joined CORE as a Senior ICT Consultant after 9 years in the e-Learning Unit at the MoE. During that time he was involved in a wide range of ICT initiatives in schools —the TELA programme, Project PROBE, negotiating the major software deals for schools, and more recently the School Network Upgrade and Ultrafast Broadband in Schools programmes.
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