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Four steps to cyber security

NetSafe has kicked off New Zealand’s first Cyber Security Awareness Week, launching a new website that sets out four key steps consumers and small businesses should be taking to protect themselves from cyber crime.

According to the website, Security Central, the steps are: make sure your operating system and software are up to date; back up important data, preferably in multiple locations; ensure any wireless networks you use, whether it’s your home connection or a public network; and select strong, secure passwords.

Martin Cocker, executive director of NetSafe, says these simple steps will greatly improve Kiwis’ online security.

"In the last couple of years more than 70% of New Zealanders have been the victim of some form of cyber crime,” Cocker says, "with the most common complaints being computer scams, fraud and viruses.

"This doesn’t have to continue.”

The launch of the website comes just days after popular professional networking site LinkedIn suffered a hack in which millions of passwords were stolen and published online. An analysis of these passwords has revealed many users select passwords which relate to the site itself, such as ‘work’ and ‘job’ – which is a big no-no.

ICT Minister Amy Adams has supported NetSafe’s move, which was launched at the Beehive this morning, saying cyber security is becoming increasingly important for New Zealanders.

"Cyber intrusions have the potential to impact on the reliability of critical infrastructure, government services and the economy,” Adams says.

"It’s important that we make sure that New Zealanders are aware of what the dangers are and take the right precautions to protect themselves against potential cyber security threats.”

Go here to check out the Security Central website.