The best start

How to stay cyber secure

2 min read

With the potential to cripple businesses and individuals around the globe; ransomware attacks are making headlines more often.

We are now more reliant on technology than ever; cloud-based software services, mobile devices and online payment systems are some of the ways technology is enabling us to work smarter, faster and more cost-effectively. Unfortunately, our reliance on these systems also opens up new ways for criminals to access information to commit fraud or other malicious acts.

According to the 2016 Norton New Zealand SMB Cybersecurity Survey, 51% of consumers think it’s become harder to stay safe and secure online than in the real world.

What kinds of threats exist?

BNZ Chief Information Security Officer, Martyn Bayly says there is a wide range of cyber threats facing us. These include ransomware, which locks your computer files or mobile device unless a ransom is paid, phishing scams, and invoice and malicious software (malware) which are often delivered by email or by clicking website links.

The risks posed are not only financial; you also risk losing personal information, such as passwords, documents, photos and all the information you store on your computer.

How can we protect ourselves?

Martyn believes a key starting point is to identify the important information you store on computers, mobile devices and online. Then you know what information you need to secure and backup.

  • As with good home security – where you wouldn’t leave your house with the front door unlocked and the windows wide open – good online security starts with knowing the risks and applying the appropriate protections needed. 

  • Passwords should be long and unique. Avoid using the same password for multiple logins as it opens the opportunity for all your key information to be compromised. Using a password manager that securely stores your passwords can help.

  • Regularly assess your important information stored on your computers and mobile devices and ensure that it’s backed up, especially if you are using cloud services to store your information. 

  • Opt for multi-factor authentication, if available, to access to your email, banking and essential online services.

  • It’s also crucial to keep your operating systems and applications constantly updated, as this will protect you from any new vulnerabilities discovered. 

  • With mobile devices avoid using banking services, or sharing sensitive information over a public Wi-Fi network, as this opens up the opportunity for others on the same network to see your information.

Finally, the biggest threat to individuals is our own behaviour. Avoid clicking on links or attachments in emails sent from unknown sources or that you weren’t expecting, and trust your instincts if you see something doesn’t look quite right. Taking the steps to verify information may take time, but it can potentially end up saving you a whole lot of hassle in the long run.

BNZ mobile banking is safe and secure

You can log in to our Mobile Banking app with your Internet Banking password, or set up a 5-digit PIN. Touch ID (Apple) and Fingerprint Login (Android) are also available for compatible devices.

Check your account balances, transfer money, top up your mobile, and more - all on the go with our free Mobile Banking app.