As people get used to being home during the COVID-19 lockdown, our devices and the internet will play a big role in keeping us connected to news, entertainment and distraction! To help you stay safe online (and to help with some of the boredom) we’ve put together our best online safety tips to get you through your days at home.

  1. Give your passwords a makeover

    Are you still using your old password for all your online accounts? Then it could be time to spice things up! A strong password will help keep your information safe so be sure to use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols – and keep this secret to yourself.

  2. Get to know those privacy settings

    Speaking of protecting your information, do you know if what you post online really is private? You can check by diving into the privacy settings of your most loved social media accounts to be sure. Check out our tips and tricks.

  3. Swipe left on fake news

    A lot of what we see or read online is true, but sometimes it’s put there on purpose to spread false information. It can be hard to tell the difference between real and fake news so it’s important to ask yourself: is what I’m reading clickbait, is the source trustworthy, are the photos real, and where can I fact check this info? You can help others by not sharing fake news stories and photos and by reporting fake content when you see it. Get more Netsafe advice here and rely on for the most accurate information.

  4. Clean up that digital footprint

    Have you ever done an ‘egosearch’? If you haven‘t now is a good to use a search engine to look up your own name to see the results. If you’re seeing your whole life story come up, it may be time for a clean-up. Go through your social media accounts and delete any personal information you don’t want shared with the entire world. Once your information is out there it can be hard to get it back, so always think carefully before you hit post and create a digital footprint.

  5. Declutter those devices

    If your devices are running slower than ever or you’re finding it difficult to find your favourite apps, you could probably use a digital declutter. Get busy letting go of any unused apps taking up space, deleting photos and memes clogging up your albums and organising files into folders. Make Marie Kondo proud!

  6. Treat your devices to a wipe down

    Once you’ve finished decluttering, it’s worth showing a little love to your hardware especially in these unprecedented times. You might be washing your hands a lot more, but don’t forget about the nasty germs your devices can carry. Get out the sanitiser and give your devices a good wipe down often.

  7. Connect with whānau

    Now is the time to get creative about how you connect with friends and loved ones. There are many ways you can connect. Share a meal over video chat, play games together online, watch your favourite shows at the same time, or send each other funny messages throughout the day. The world’s your digital oyster! Grandpatalkingtograndson

    Check out the video from our friends over at Motion Sickness.  In their own words…”We decided to facetime some of the people we love, and ultimately make this video. In particular, we wanted to talk to all our fellow Millennials and Gen Z’ers out there. This pandemic will be one of the most defining things in our generation, in the same way that WWI & WWII were for generations past. Let’s not make avocado on toast the best thing we ever did. Take care (no, but really…) The Motion Sickness team xx”

  8. Discover your next hobby

    Now is a great time to explore those dreams and discover your inner Gordon Ramsey, Picasso or Lorde! There are heaps of apps, websites and videos that offer lessons in cooking, art, singing or even juggling. If you start now, you’ll be ready to impress your friends and family in a few weeks with your newly honed skills.

  9. Take a digital nap

    There’s no better time to take a digital detox. Set time aside in your day to unplug and take in special moments offline. You could use this time to get creative, organise your space, or get stuck into some creative yoga positions.

  10. Spread some positive vibes

    The internet is the quickest way to spread information and ideas. Spread some positivity by uploading inspiring content, creating a meme or sharing kind words on people’s posts. A little kindness and positivity can travel far online.

As more people rely on virtual connections, Netsafe will keep sharing tips to help you navigate these uncharted waters so you can stay connected and stay safe. If there’s any topic that you’d like to know more about or ideas on how to contribute, please email us.

A map of NZ connected by lines with the words stay connected stay safe on the foreground


If you or someone you know needs help or advice about something that’s happened online, you can contact us seven days a week for free and confidential advice.

Our helpline is open seven day a week. If you’re concerned about the immediate safety of you or someone else, call 111.


Follow us on social media and sign up to our newsletter for alerts, news and tips.  
Facebook   Twitter