Connect Smart

Introducing Connect Smart - protect yourself online


Connect Smart is about raising awareness of cyber security and promoting ways to protect yourself online. All New Zealanders will benefit if we can unlock the potential of the internet by using it in a safe and secure way. Learn to Connect Smart.

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Kiwis are spending more and more time using the internet – connecting with friends and family, paying the bills, shopping, watching, reading and downloading all kinds of entertainment, and so much more. There are plenty of benefits from using the internet, but there are some risks too. It's important to protect yourself, your friends and your family by making sure you know how to "Connect Smart" online.

How can I protect myself online?
Using the internet for things like banking, shopping, emails and social media means you're often giving out your personal and financial information online. The good news is that improving your digital security is easy - it's not complicated or expensive to take basic steps to protect yourself and your personal information. Don't wait until it's too late. Protect yourself, your family and your friends by following the tips below.

Easy tips for protecting yourself online:

Password protect all your devices
• Make sure your desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones are all secured with different passwords
• Use strong or complex passwords (by including a range of upper and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation), particularly for your email and online banking
• Change these passwords regularly

• Protect your wireless connection with a strong password and encryption settings
• If you are operating on an unsecured wifi connection, be cautious about what you do. Don't use unsecured wifi for banking or other transactions
• Ensure that you have a good password on your hotspot if you are 'tethering' a device to a phone

Secure your computer
• Install adequate firewalls
• Keep your anti-virus software up to date
• Ensure your operating software is up to date
• Ensure that you have information safely backed-up. If disposing of a computer, make sure you have removed all personal data and take steps to clean the hard drive.

Connect Smart - Home Users

Secure your mobile devices with a PIN or password
• If you use more than one mobile device, make sure your PINs and passwords are different
• As with your other internet devices, use anti-virus software and have up to date software
• Ensure you only download reputable apps
• Regularly back up your data.

Be cautious on emails & social media
• Be suspicious of emails from people you don't know or that look unusual - it may be spam email with malicious software attached
• Be suspicious of links to unknown websites. If you are not sure, don't click on them. Only visit trusted or reputable sites. A secure and authentic website will have two e-security symbols: a closed padlock and https:// in the address bar
• Limit the amount and type of identity information you share about yourself, friends or family via email and your online accounts
• Be aware of, and check your privacy settings on social media sites

Be cautious when shopping online
• When shopping online, use a secure payment method or your credit card
• Be aware of scams, online frauds and false suppliers
• Make sure that requests from companies or individuals for identity or financial information are authentic.
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Connect Smart - School Users

Protecting your school
Reviewing or establishing your school's cyber safety practices is easy. It's not complicated or expensive. Taking proactive steps now will ensure that you can improve your school's cyber security.

Schools receive government funding for internet security services and cyber safety programmes. Those schools connected to the Network for Learning (N4L) managed network are offered content filtering and firewall services as a core part of their N4L package.

The Connect Smart for Business: SME Toolkit (available soon) is also relevant for schools and provides more detailed information on cyber security.

A step by step guide to cyber safety for schools from Netsafe
• Step 1. Identify your starting point
• Step 2. Build a secure foundation
• Step 3. Build capability
• Step 4. Actively involve the whole school community
• Step 5. Focus on classroom programmes
• Step 6. Share & foster discussion
• Step 7. Think strategically & long-term


Connect Smart - Business Users

Protecting your business online
Improving your business' digital security is easy – it's not complicated or expensive to take basic steps to protect your and your customers' sensitive information online. Get started by downloading a copy of the The Connect Smart for Business: SME Toolkit.

Cyber Security Warrant of Fitness – four steps to better online security
Just like operating a motor vehicle, it is important to give your business periodic cyber safety inspections so that you have the right foundations in place and can feel confident that you're protecting your business, staff and customers online. Below is a simple four step Cyber Security WOF to achieving better online security:

• Assess the cyber security of your business
• Develop a cyber security policy for your business
• Establish an incident management plan
• Regularly review and update your network security systems