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How to increase your digital security

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Romance, investment, property, and phishing are just some ways kiwis are getting scammed out of their hard-earned money. Everyone thinks, ‘it won’t happen to me’ until it does.

Last quarter, Netsafe reported over 13 million dollars in scam losses, with the average being over $20,000. Every day the agency receives dozens of calls or emails with questions about how to improve security to avoid being scammed.

With CyberSmart week happening right now, here are four ways to improve your online security.

Unique Passwords

It might sound simple but the difference between a strong password and a weak one could be thousands of dollars.

There is a reason most websites now give an indication of the strength of a password. It might be a little harder to remember at first, but it will save lots of trouble in the long run.

Another thing that we are all guilty of is using the same password for everything. Remember, if someone gets one of your passwords, they will then have all of them. Change your passwords and use a password book if you are worried about remembering them.

Two Factor Authentication

When you create a password there is an option that pops up saying “would you like to enable two-factor authentication,” and 9 times out of 10, people click skip.

It takes more time to enable but is one of the best security methods. Scammers won’t gain access to your accounts because they need a specific code that is only sent to your phone. It’s a simple but extremely effective layer of security.

Download The Latest Versions

When you are using an app, or a piece of software, it’s easy to skip the update because you are busy using your device at that time.

However, keeping apps and software updated is crucial to their security. They sometimes have bugs in the programming which could be used by scammers to gain access to your personal information.

Check Social Media Privacy Controls

Sometimes social media can be a person’s downfall because they haven’t gone through the settings and limited access to strangers. It sounds simple enough, but when you make a Facebook or Instagram, if you don’t check, just about anyone can have access to your photos and information.

Try restricting access to only family and friends and occasionally search for yourself or your photos online, to make sure no one has stolen them.

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