Online security

1. Internet security is an ongoing challenge – but it is a challenge that must be met if you are to enjoy a safer and more secure online experience. As Internet users, we are all required to play our part in promoting and practising a “culture of cyber security”.

2. The Internet Industry Association recommends that the following top tips be taken to help ensure that your computer stays adequately protected for a safer and more secure online experience:
(a) Take action immediately if you suspect your computer has been compromised. Report unauthorised access to the police. Change your passwords immediately and contact your bank if you suspect personal financial information has been stolen.
(b) Keep your anti-virus and other security software updated.
(c) Install a firewall to prevent unauthorised access to your computer.
(d) Turn on automatic updates so that all your software receives the latest fixes.
(e) Get a stronger password and change it regularly.
(f) Stop and think before you click on links or attachments. Don’t open suspicious emails or attachments from unknown sources. Don’t click on links in emails requesting your personal details.
(g) Check your “sent items” file or “outgoing” email. If you find unknown messages in your out box, it is a sign that your computer may be infected with spyware, and may be part of a botnet. This isn’t foolproof: many spammers have learned to hide their unauthorised access.
(h) Stop and think before you share any personal or financial information about yourself, your friends or family online.
(i) Configure your wireless network securely. If you are using a wireless router/modem, enable the security features with a strong password. Use WPA or WPA2 encryption on your Wi-Fi equipment (WEP is an older standard and is less secure). Refer to your router/modem manual or contact your ISP for further details.
(j) Know what your children are doing online. Make sure they know how to stay safe and encourage them to report anything suspicious. For further information about online safety go to the Australian Government’s Cybersafety website.

3. More Information and tools for ongoing security
3.1 The Australian Government undertakes a range of awareness raising initiatives including:

  • The Australian Government’s cyber security website.
  • The Stay Smart Online email alert service.
  • An annual National Cyber-security Awareness Week.
  • The Budd:e cyber security education package for Australian schools. The package consists of two self-learning, interactive modules, one for year 3 and one for year 9 students. The modules are available online or on CD ROM and can be ordered online.


Find out more about these initiatives.

3.2 The Australian Communications and Media Authority is a statutory body responsible for the regulation of broadcasting, the Internet, radiocommunications and telecommunications.
The ACMA operates a range of cybersafety and cyber security education and awareness programs designed for children, parents and teachers. To learn more about these programs visit the Australian Government’s Cybersafety website.

4. iDcare is an Australian and New Zealand national identify theft support service. They offer personalised support to individuals who are concerned about the personal information. You can visit their website or contact them via phone on 1300 432 273.