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Protect yourself from online fraud, says InternetNZ

Media Release - 3 March 2009 - This week is 'Fraud Awareness Week,' and InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) strongly recommends Internet users review their computer security practices to maximise their online safety.

InternetNZ Executive Director Keith Davidson says the more we bank and  purchase online, and use social networking websites, the greater the risks we face.  Malicious hackers use viruses and “Trojan” software to steal our passwords and identity information and access our accounts.

Here’s a checklist for your home. If you don’t understand what these mean, then it may be wise to call in an expert.

1. Check your virus, firewall and anti-spyware software is up-to-date and always switched on. If you don’t have these on your computer then install them now.

Don’t switch them off to speed up your computer and be aware that your children may be switching them off when they play online games.

2. Check your operating system (Windows, Apple OSX, Linux) has the latest security updates. This can be usually be set to happen automatically, or you can visit the vendor’s website.

3. Change your passwords for the websites you use and mark a regular period in your calendar to change them again. Don’t use the same password for everything.

4. If you bank online, use any additional password security tools that are offered.

5. Change the password on your broadband modem (you will need to look up the user guide for this). Many such devices are set to default passwords known to malicious computer hackers. If you are using wifi (wireless), then they could be hacked from the street outside your house.

6. If you are using wifi (wireless) then set the security settings on your wifi box to encrypt the information that travels across it.

“Don’t delay. Don’t leave it to ‘do tomorrow’,” says Davidson.

Fraud Awareness Week is a Ministry of Consumer Affairs initiative that runs from 2 – 9 March. More information can be found at the following link:

For further information contact:

Keith Davidson
Executive Director
021 377 587

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