Tips for staying safe online

We’ve put together a few tips to help ensure you enjoy a safe and secure experience whenever you or your family are online.  

Create strong and unique passwords 

  • Don’t make your password: password 

  • Try to avoid using sequential or repeated numbers (e.g., 123, 444) 

  • Avoid using personal information in your password (e.g., pet’s name, birthdate) 

  • Make it over 15 characters in length (anything shorter is easier to hack) 

  • Mix it up. Use a combination of letters and characters (e.g., Hj$5plant259_!AVC) 

  • Think of using a passphrase. It’s similar to a password but often longer, like a song lyric, poem, sports jargon or random words (e.g., yoga-tingly-ski-season-earthlike) 

  • Look into using a password manager. 

Browse the internet safely 

Be on the lookout when browsing sites online for addresses that start with https: 

The S stands for secure and means the site is encrypting your data, so you’re protected while visiting their online store, bank, gaming sites etc. 

Secure sites can also sometimes be identified by a padlock icon next to the address bar.  

Keep your devices updated 

General software, app and device updates play a critical factor in keeping you safe online. Updates repair security gaps that have been discovered, as well as remove or fix any bugs that have been identified.  New features can be added to your device, as well as old and outdated features removed – especially ones identified as potential security threats.   

It's a good idea to turn on automatic updates on all your devices and software applications, so you're already getting the latest fixes.  

Install antivirus software

  • Have antivirus installed on all your devices that use the internet

  • Ensure you’ve got the latest updates installed

  • Check that any antivirus subscriptions you have, are up-to-date and paid for.

Check out our BE Safe video series, designed to help you work and play safe online:

BE SAFE: Internet Security: Malware

BE SAFE: Internet Security: Privacy & phishing

BE SAFE: Internet Security: Online Shopping Safety Tips for Christmas (not just for the holiday season)

BE SAFE: Internet Security: How to safely work from home

For more tips on how to protect yourself and your identity online, check out our Belong post Protecting your privacy and identity online.  

Learn how to avoid being scammed online here

For advice on what to do if you receive unwanted calls and text messages, read our article here

For more information or to report a cyber-crime, check out the Australian Cyber Security CentreScamwatch and Stay Smart Online