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How Kiwis can take a simpler approach to cyber security

How Kiwis can take a simpler approach to cyber security

“Each of us has a role to play in keeping ourselves and ultimately, our country secure."

With Connect Smart week now underway, Kiwis are reminded to take simple steps to keep themselves secure online.

The second annual Connect Smart Week was launched yesterday at Parliament by Hon Christopher Finlayson, on behalf of Hon Amy Adams, Minister of Communications, with the theme Cyber Security Made Simple.

Connect Smart is a Government-led initiative with the goal of raising awareness about cyber security and promoting ways for people and businesses to protect themselves online.

“Cyber-security can seem expensive and daunting - but in reality there are some simple steps people can do to reduce their risk when they’re online,” says Paul Ash, Director of the National Cyber Policy Office.

“Small things like using different and strong, complex passwords across your devices can really lift your security and protect your personal information.

“Kiwis are increasing reliant on an open, trusted and resilient cyberspace, but the reality is while New Zealand is a safe country, once you’re online, you’re inter-connected to a world of trustworthy, and not so trustworthy, people.

“The Connect Smart Partnership aims to help ensure everyone can be secure online.”

The Connect Smart Partnership is supported by over 100 partners across the public, private and NGO sectors, with Ash believing that cyber security is a challenge that spans government, the private sector, academia, NGOs, schools and individuals.

“Each of us has a role to play in keeping ourselves and ultimately, our country secure,” adds Ash, who says this year Connect Smart is particularly interested in educating Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across New Zealand.

“SMEs are obviously a very important part of our economy, and yet, often have the least resource to put into their cyber security needs,” Ash adds.

“We need to make sure our Kiwi innovators are protected as they conduct their business online. A great place for them to start is checking out our free SME toolkit on our website.”

According to Ash, here are five simple things to improve cyber security:

• Check your passwords so they are complex, and different across your devices

• Check you software is up-to-date on your computer

• Back up your important data to somewhere secure so you have a copy if something goes wrong

• Check your privacy settings on your social media accounts – do a quick Google search to find out what’s out there about you

• Start a conversation – is everyone you know Connecting Smart?

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