How to be CyberSafe

Tuesday, 28 January is International Data Privacy Day, raising awareness about and promoting privacy and data protection best practices.

Behind the security barricades of CQUni’s Information & Technology Directorate, a team of superheroes work hard every day fighting the forces of Internet evil keeping CQUni’s systems and data safe. We call them the CQUni CyberHeroes! Chief CyberHero, Firewall, says ‘although Data Privacy Day is once a year, it’s important everyone maintains strong privacy practices all year-round to protect their data’. But what does that mean for you? Below are the CyberHeroes’ hot tips for you to follow.

Who are the CQUni CyberHeroes?

The CyberHeroes, are nine Information and Technology Directorate staff who were transformed into super-heroes possessing extraordinary cyber superpowers, protecting CQUni while also spreading the word on how to be cyber secure through a monthly comic. The group consists of Scanner, Encryptor, Oracle, Cypher, Greyhat, Shield, Quarantine, Firewall & Overwatch.  

Here are the CQUni CyberHeroes’ top 4 ways you can protect your personal information.

# 1 – Emails

Always be wary of suspicious emails! A malicious or phishing email can look like it has come from your local post office, financial institution, a government agency or any other business you are familiar with – however, when it urges you to act now, because your account has been locked, your order cannot be delivered, or there is another urgent action to complete that requires you to log in, you should take a second look to see if it is legitimate. If you are unsure whether an email is legitimate, try to verify it by contacting the company directly by using information on the company’s official website (not from the email).

#2 – Phone calls

Always be wary of suspicious phone calls from people you don’t know! Similar to emails, a simple phone call from someone you don’t know can sound like it has come from your local post office, financial institution, a government agency or any other business you are familiar with – however, when they ask for you to transfer them money or provide your account details over the phone, take a moment to verity they are who they say they are. You can do this by saying you will call them back by using information on the company’s official website (not by calling the number back they called on or provide you).

#3 – Passwords

Don’t use the same password for everything. We have different keys for our house and car and you should do the same with online passwords. Why? Well if an organisation is subject to a data breach or you accidentally provide your details to a scammer, if you have different passwords for different accounts there is less impact. Also, use a strong password. The best password to use is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Try to use a sentence that means something to you and will be easy to remember, for example, “I love CQUniversity” (too much?). Always try and use separate passwords for your accounts as this helps to thwart cyber criminals.

#4 – Updates

Keep all your software, operating systems, browsers and other apps up to date to best defend yourself against viruses, malware and other cyber threats. Updates are developed for a reason and you should keep your devices (mobile phone, tablet, computer, etc) up to date with the latest security and software updates.

It’s important to be responsible with your data, and these tips are a great way to ensure your personal data is protected.

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