Are you a cyber security warrior or sleepwalker?


It’s already October and it would be easy to ask where has the year gone?

But we’re pretty excited because this month, the world is celebrating National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

We are hearing almost every day in the news about the latest breach or hack (not to mention the foreign prince who wants to marry me). So it’s time to brush up on some good practices around passwords, data protection and your online identity.

‘Too hard basket’ you say? Not now we’ve found the perfect place to start with some easy basics: Australia’s Stay Smart Online website.

Tips to protect yourself online
This isn’t just for your desktop, don’t forget you need to protect all your devices: laptop, mobile, tablet.

Passphrases

  • Use different, strong, hard-to-guess passphrases on all your devices.
  • Don’t arbitrarily mix letters, numbers and symbols to make a password. Instead, create passwords that are more memorable.
  • Don’t use your street address or numeric sequences such as 1234567.

Protect your stuff

  • Griffith students get free anti-virus software, so download or update it now!
  • Install adequate firewalls.
  • Set a password or pin; make sure they are different.
  • Install reputable anti theft/loss protection—your device’s retailer or service provider can provide recommendations.
  • Use your device’s automatic update feature to install new applications and operating system updates as soon as they are available.
  • When you get rid of a computer or device, make sure you have removed all your personal data and try to clean the hard drive.

Be cautious with emails

  • Be suspicious of emails from people you don’t know or that look unusual—it may be spam email with malicious software attached.
  • Don’t share your email address online unless you need to and consider setting up a separate email address just to use for online forms or shopping.
  • As much as possible, have separate email accounts for personal and business use.
  • Use a spam filter to catch dangerous messages before they get to your inbox.
  • Delete spam messages without opening them and never reply to them.
  • Do not open any attachments if the source of the message is unknown or suspicious—do not enable macros on documents from an untrustworthy sender.

Wifi

  • Protect your wireless connection with a strong password.
  • Make sure remote management on your modem or router is disabled.
  • If you are using public wifi, make sure your computer has its firewall enabled, your software is up-to-date and you have a good anti-virus program installed.
  • Don’t use public wifi for sending sensitive emails, accessing your online banking or using your credit card while connected (and make sure your apps with this information are closed).

You can also visit Griffith University’s Cybersecurity website for more info and tips.