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Protecting Yourself Online

What Everyone Needs to Know

Protecting Yourself Online
What Everyone Needs to Know


Many of us have openly welcomed the To help keep all Australians safe and secure online, the
Australian Government offers a range of information from
internet into our lives. a number of different sources, including the
ISBN: 978-1-921725-68-5

Commonwealth of Australia 2011 For most of us the internet is part of Attorney-Generals Department
All material presented in this publication is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution our daily routine for keeping in touch Department of Broadband, Communications and the
3.0 Australia ( licence.
with friends and family, working, Digital Economy
For the avoidance of doubt, this means this licence only applies to material as set out in
this document. studying, playing games, shopping Australian Communications and Media Authority
The details of the relevant licence conditions are available on the Creative Commons and paying bills.
website (accessible using the links provided) as is the full legal code for the CC BY 3.0 AU Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
licence (
While the internet offers us many
Use of the Coat of Arms Australian Federal Police, and
The terms under which the Coat of Arms can be used are detailed on the Its an Honour
benefits, there are also a range of
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
( website. safety and security risks associated
Contact us with its use. This publication brings a lot of this information together in
Inquiries regarding the licence and any use of this document are welcome at: one handy booklet, to help you stay safe and secure when
Business Law Branch
Attorney-Generals Department
These include threats to the integrity using the internet whether dealing with scams, spam,
3-5 National Circuit of our identities, our privacy and banking or bullying.
Telephone: (02) 6141 6666 the security of our electronic
communications, in particular
financial transactions, as well as
The information in this publication is solely intended to provide a general understanding of
the subject matter and to help people assess whether they need more detailed information. exposure to offensive and illegal
The material presented in this publication is not and must not be regarded as legal advice. content and behaviour.
Users should seek their own legal advice where appropriate.

While everything practicable has been done to ensure the information in this book is
accurate, no liability is accepted for any loss or damage whatsoever that can be attributed
to reliance on any of that information.

Reduce your risk some sections of this booklet also provide A summary 2 How to be safe online 22
additionalinformation, for those who wish to take
Eight simple tips to help protect yourself online 2 Social networking safely 22
Being aware of what risks you face online will help you further precautions.
make informed choices about how you use the internet. Deal with offensive content 24
How to secure your computer 4
Mobile computing is now a dominant trend. While the
Protect your children online 25
There are no absolute guarantees that you can protect all term computer is used throughout this document its Install security software 4
of your information online but by following the advice Deal with online child grooming 27
important to remember that your phone, tablet computer, Turn on automatic updates 5
in this booklet you can significantly reduce your risk of game console and even refrigerator may be able to Checklist of basic steps 29
Use standard user accounts 5
becoming a victim of cyber crime. connect to the internet. The processing power in these
Set and protect your passwords 5 Where to go for more information 30
devices and the amount of personal information they
A bit unsure? Avoid running out of date software 7
holdis equivalent to a small computer so only thinking
Use smart settings for your web browser 7 Where to go to report online incidents 31
Taking the necessary steps to protect yourself online about security for computers misses the reality of the
canbe a bit daunting especially to those less familiar modern world. Control your internet connection 7
Glossary of some online terms 32
with technology or the internet. However, there are Securing your wireless network 8
Read on to find out what you need to know to help protect
simplesteps you can take to protect yourself and your Checklist of basic steps to secure your computer
yourself and your family online.
family online. or other internet enabled devices 9
You can also refer to the glossary at the end of this
By taking the time to understand online risks and how to How to be smart online 10
bookletto help you understand some online terms,
minimise them, you can gain greater confidence in how to
including those marked throughout this booklet. Prevent viruses and other malware 10
be safe and secure when using the internet.
Reduce spam 11
This booklet provides a range of information to help
Secure your money online 12
protect you online
Avoid scams and fraud 15
8 simple tips that you should always follow Be aware of phishing 17
Know how to spot money transfer scams and
further information on various online issues, including
advance fee fraud 17
basic steps that you are strongly encouraged to take
Protect your identity and privacy 18
Checklist of basic steps to be smart online 21

A summary

There are a lot of steps you can take to protect yourself Whether you are new to using the internet or a regular What these steps show is that protecting yourself online
online and it can seem a bit complicated, especially if user there are 8 simple tips that you need to follow to is about more than just how you set up and use your
you are new to using the internet. help protect yourself online: computer, mobile phone or any internet enabled device.
Its also about being smart in what you do and the choices
This booklet provides a range of information to cater for
you make while using the internet.
you no matter whether you have had a little or a lot of
experience online. There are criminals who use the anonymity of the internet
to run old and new scams.While many of these are
scams that most people would spot a mile away if they
1 Install and renew your security software and set it to scan regularly.
were attempted in the real world, online scams are very
sophisticated and often harder to detect.
2 Turn on automatic updates on all your software, including your operating system and other applications.
So its important to remember that while the technology
may be new, the old wisdom still applies. Ifsomething you
Think carefully before you click on links and attachments, particularly in emails and on social
3 networking sites. see online or which is sent to you seems suspicious ortoo
good to be true, it probably is.

4 Regularly adjust your privacy settings on social networking sites. Further information about online issues and the steps
youcan take to be safe online are provided in the
Report or talk to someone about anything online that makes you uncomfortable or threatened followingchapters.
5 download the Governments Cybersafety Help Button.
This booklet is available online at and
Stop and think before you post any photos or financial or personal information about yourself,
6 yourfriends or family.

You can request hard copies of this publication from

7 Use strong passwords and change them at least twice a year.

8 Talk within your family about good online safety.

How to secure your computer Turn on automatic updates Use a standard user account

Reputable software companies often issue free updates to Your computer has two types of user account options, a
their software to fix security and other problems. These standard or administrative account. Creating and using a
fixes are called patches, and they should generally be standard user account for most daily tasks, such as surfing
applied as soon as theyre available. Security fixes are also the web and reading emails, will reduce the amount and
included in general updates, even if they dont mention it. type of malware that is able to infect your computer.
The average time it takes to attack an unprotected Here are some basic steps you can take to secure
computer connected to the internet is measured yourcomputer Most software will have an option called check Many forms of serious malware require a user to be
inminutes.1 for updates under the help drop-down menu. You running an administrator account in order to successfully
install reputable security software that protects your
should check this regularly. A lot of operating system infect your computer. Going online with a standard user
So its important to protect your computer properly. computer from viruses, malware and spyware, and
and application software can now be set to update account greatly reduces the effectiveness of many types
Otherwise you may be putting yourself and possibly includes a firewall
automatically you should enable this option wherever ofmalware.
yourfamily and friends at risk.
have your security software set to update itis available.
The Stay Smart Online website has factsheets on
Make sure your computer is protected from harmful automatically
What is a drop down menu? howto set up standard user accounts.
emails and viruses, and from unauthorised people
renew your security software when the subscription Visit
accessing your internet connection and personal
isdue. to find out more.
Also, beware of scareware these are pop-up messages Set and protect your passwords
Install security software or unsolicited emails that tell you that your computer is
compromised and want you to purchase software to repair Passwords arent absolutely unbreakable, but they can
To help secure your computer you need reputable security
it. These messages aim to trick users into believing your help prevent criminals from accessing your computer.
software. The easiest software to install is an all-in-one
computer is already infected, and that purchasing the
package that includes virus and malware protection, Here are some basic steps you can take to set and protect
software will help get rid of it. Checking your security
spyware protection, a firewall and parental controls your password
settings and making sure your pop-up blocker is on may
if you have children. If youre not sure what software is
help avoid this. There have also been instances where choose a strong password
reputable ask at your local computer store or look for IT
users have received a phone call purporting to be from a
magazine or online surveys of security software. a minimum of eight characters
security company advising them that their computer is at
risk. Quite often the message and the software are fake. a mix of upper and lower case letters

at least one number, and

at least one symbol

avoid using words found in the dictionary try a

1 According the US Computer Emergency Response Team passphrase instead

Avoid running out of date software

have different passwords for different activities and Discontinued products that are no longer for sale or Here are some basic steps you can take when setting up
change them regularly, particularly those for sensitive The challenge today passwords and are out of date are more likely to make your computer your web browser
transactions such as banking, social networking and remembering them! insecure. This can include the software that runs your
set up your own security settings on your web browser
your computer logon computer and other computer programs.

Ensuring that your passwords are secure is if in doubt set the security levels to high. But know
dont store a list of your passwords on your computer
Use smart settings for your web browser that this may restrict your ability to view and use some
in a word document this makes it easy for anyone important. If your password is captured, guessed
or stolen, someone could impersonate you online, websites or the functions on them
who gets into your computer to access your social A web browser is the software you use to view websites.
networking, banking and other accounts steal money from your bank account, send emails use the latest version so update your web browser as
in your name or change files on your computer Do not use the remember function for passwords that
new versions become available.
Select no when your computer offers to automatically to name just a few of the possible outcomes. give access to financial or personal information like your
remember a password when logging into a website, banking or social networking accounts. This ensures that
especially banking, social networking and web mail Passwords do not have to be a single word, if your web browser gets attacked, you dont lose all of
Control your internet connection
accounts. This is because scammers can use malware base your password on a phrase or sentence - a your sensitive passwords. More and more Australians are connecting to the internet
to find these stored within the PC. passphrase. Think of a phrase then change some using a broadband connection, whether it is ADSL,
of the characters to make it a strong password: Most computers come with a web browser already
wireless or cable.
If it helps to write your passwords down, do so but installed. However, there is no guarantee that the web
hide them somewhere safe, away from prying eyes and I wish I could eat 12 meat pies a day becomes browser has been set up with the right security settings In addition to desktop computers and laptops, many
not together with your computer logon. An even better iWice12!mp@d for your needs. Hackers know how to exploit web browser mobile devices, such as smart phones, can be used
idea is to use a passphrase. settings, so its important to select the right settings to to access the internet. Its just as important to enable
I love my cat becomes i<3myc@t
protect your personal information. security settings for smart phones, or any other device
Some where over the rainbow, blue birds fly with internet connectivity particularly where it contains
The higher you set your security levels, the fewer options
becomes 5w0tR,Bbf} private or sensitive information.
and functions you will have available, but the more secure
(just dont use these examples) your internet access will be. You have to decide on the Here are some basic steps you can take to control your
right balance for you between being as secure as possible internet connection
That way, as long as you use a few random and experiencing every feature of every website.
capitalisations and symbols you can write down use a strong password to protect physical access to
the phrase and keep it in your wallet or near Your browsers security functions can usually be found in any device that holds personal information on it such
yourcomputer and no one will be able to guess one of the drop-down menu items. Most browsers provide as computers, smart phones, and routers
your password! advice on each of the security settings and explain the
advantages and disadvantages of enabling or disabling always turn off your internet connection when you
functions and high and low security settings. arent using it

If you have an ADSL or wireless modem then you be careful about how you allow your phone to change the Service Set Identifier (SSID), the name that
should always change the default password. broadcast your location such as GPS applications. identifies the wireless network. Dont use a name that Checklist of basic steps to secure
Do you really want a thief to know where you live and makes your network easy for others to identify, such
For more information check the instructions in the your computer or other internet
when your house is empty? as your familys name or business name
manufacturers handbook or ask your Internet Service enabled device
Provider (ISP) for advice. tampering with your phones software or operating make sure your network encryption is turned on
install and maintain security software
system (sometimes known as jailbreaking) may leave and, just like your software, use the latest encryption
Some additional steps you can take to control your
it exposed to additional security vulnerabilities available on the device. turn on automatic updates for software
internet connection are
If you are unsure of how to do this follow the instructions
set up separate accounts only access the internet by Secure your wireless network use a standard user account
in the manufacturers handbook or seek advice from
using an account with limited access, rather than by an set and protect your passwords, use a
Wireless networks are a great way to make the internet yourISP.
administrator account. different password for different accounts
more accessible and to share information between
Here are some basic steps you can take to secure your devicesonline.
set up your own security settings on your web
smart phone and its internet connection browser
But an unsecured network is just like an unprotected
use a PIN or password, so no one can access your computer it leaves your personal and financial
control your internet connection
private data if your phone is lost or stolen information vulnerable. Securing your wireless connection
can prevent unknown people from accessing your wireless secure your wireless network.
like your computer, set automatic updates or check connection for excessive downloads or illegal activities.
regularly for downloads to your phones operating
system and applications If you run a wireless network at home or in your business Still unsure about how to stay secure online? Visit page 30
there are a few steps you need to take to make it secure. to find out where to go for more information.
only download applications from official stores or from
a trusted source, such as your own bank Here are some basic steps you can take to control your
wireless network
take control of your smart phone - turn off your Wi-Fi
and Bluetooth when not in use or change your settings assign a password so that any device that is attached
so that your phone asks for permission to join a new to the network must know the password to connect.
wireless networks. Dont just use the default passwords as these are
widely known and make sure you use a strong
only connect your phone to a secure (encrypted) password
wireless network and while its alright for general
browsing dont use public wireless networks for
important online transactions such as banking

How to be smart online
If you suspect that your computer has been hacked The Internet Industry Association in conjunction
or infected by a virus with the Australian Government has developed
a voluntary code of practice for ISPs. The icode
scan your entire computer with fully updated
is designed to provide a consistent approach for
The steps outlined in the previous section are an Here are some basic steps to prevent malware anti-virus and anti-spyware software
Australian ISPs to help inform, educate and protect
important start in protecting yourself online. However,
scan email attachments with security software before report unauthorised access to your ISP their customers in relation to cyber security risks.
simply setting up and maintaining your computer correctly
opening them
is not enough to fully protect yourself and your family and if you suspect that any of your passwords have Make sure you use an ISP that is compliant
friends. dont open emails or attachments if youre not been compromised, call the relevant service with the icode, look for the Trustmark
expecting them or you dont know the sender provider (e.g. ISP or bank) immediately below on their website.
You also need to be smart about what you do and the
choices you make online. This means being aware of think carefully before you click on links and if you need assistance in removing
potential risks while transacting online, particularly where attachments in emails and on social networking sites malwarefrom an infected computer,
money is involved. Its important to show commonsense Reduce spam
visit to find
and not be tricked into doing things online that you only download files from websites you trust
resources and services that can help you. Electronic junk mail is commonly known as spam.
wouldnt feel comfortable doing in the real world.
double check that the URL or website address is Theseare electronic messages you havent asked for
you can also find more security related
correct, as the link may redirect you towards a fake thatare sent to your email account, mobile phone number,
Prevent viruses and other malware information and assistance on the icode
or instant messaging account.
address, which may look similar to the legitimate site
Malicious software or malware is a generic term for
be wary when exchanging files over peer to peer The content of spam messages varies. Some messages
software that is designed to specifically damage, disrupt
networks promote legitimate products or services, while others
or take control of systems.
The Cyber Security Alert Service is a free will attempt to trick you into following a link to a scam
read the licence agreement and terms of use before
Types of malware include things such as viruses, trojans, subscription based service that provides website where you will be asked to enter your bank
you download software and dont download it if you
worms or spyware. information on the latest computer network account or credit card details. Many spam messages
dont trust the terms and conditions
threats and vulnerabilities in easy to understand contain offensive or fraudulent material, and some
Your computer can be infected by malware through spreadcomputer viruses.
never click on an Agree, OK or No button to close a language.
email messages, visiting compromised websites, and
window on a website you dont trust. This can launch
downloading infected files. It also provides solutions to help manage these risks. Spam now makes up the majority of email traffic.
spyware onto your computer. Instead, click the red X
Billionsof unwanted spam messages clog up the
in the corner of the window You can sign up for the free Cyber Security internet,disrupt email delivery, reduce productivity
AlertService at andirritate users.

If you have doubts, its
safer not to proceed
Here are some basic steps to reduce spam be very careful about using your personal email Be smart about online payments
address on any websites
speak to your ISP about spam filtering Do what you can to satisfy yourself that any online
protect your private email account by creating payment you make is secure. Companies that offer secure
if you dont know who sent you an email, delete it
separate email accounts for use when conducting payments will tell you so before you start to provide your Be aware while shopping online
if the message appears to be genuine, but unsolicited online transactions or social networking credit card details.
Online shopping is convenient and reasonably safe
in nature, reply with STOP (for SMS) or use the
change your email account password regularly Although there are a number of things you can look as long as you take precautions.
unsubscribe facility (for email). On the other hand, if
for on a secure web page, the unfortunate fact is that
a message appears to be from a questionable source, consider changing your email address if its discovered When you are shopping online, be wary if
scammers may be able to reproduce symbols to give you
avoid replying as it may alert the scammer that you by spammers
the impression that a fake website is secure.
have an active email address or phone number the website looks suspicious or unprofessional
update your email program as new versions
If you have doubts, its safer not to proceed.
dont reply to or forward chain letters that you receive often havebuilt-in security and the latest spam the website is offering bargains that look too good to
by email identificationoptions. Here are some basic steps to ensure your online be true, or
payments are as safe as possible
think carefully before you click on links and you think you wont get what you pay for.
attachments in emails and on social networking sites There are laws against spam in Australia. If you check you are on a secure page the URL or web
Here are some basic steps to make sure your online
have been spammed you can report it or lodge a address will begin with https (instead of just http) and
dont give your email address away unless you are shopping is as safe as possible.
complaint with the ACMA refer to a key or padlock icon will appear somewhere on your
confident the recipient is a trusted party or phone 1300 855 180. browser. But remember, this will only guarantee a Before making the purchase
add the spam address to junk senders. Most email secure payment process it does not guarantee the
Spam SMS can be forwarded to 0429 999 888. know who you are dealing with check that contact
programs have the ability to add them to a junk senders identity of the website operator.
details are correct
list which blocks them next time they try to email you
double check that the URL or website address is
report email or SMS spam to the Australian Secure your money online know what you are buying read the description of the
correct and not just similar to the legitimate website
product carefully check the size, colour, value and
Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) at There are criminals who will try to find holes in your
some web browsers also colour code the address safety of the product or forward spam security measures and internet habits when youre doing
SMS messages to 0429 999 888 bar to identify these websites with advanced security
online transactions including paying bills, shopping read all the fine print including refund and complaints
certification features.
Here are some additional steps to reduce spam and banking. They will try to trick you into revealing your handling policies
personal details and account details so they can steal your
if the source seems genuine, and the message check the currency, postage and handling, and other
information, money and property.
appears to promote a legitimate Australian business, charges there may be extra charges you arent
contact the business and ask them to take you off their So make sure your computer is protected from online awareof
mailing list. security threats and that you have smart online habits.

Jessicas pedigree pup was
check the final cost before paying, including any too good to be true Bank online securely
currency conversions and additional shipping costs.
Online banking is convenient and reasonably safe
Making the payment I was thinking about buying a dog and was aslong as you take reasonable precautions.
looking through an online classifieds website.
only pay by a secure web page and use a secure Here are some basic steps to ensure your online banking
payment method. Where possible, avoid upfront I fell in love with the photo of little Buster instantly. is as secure as possible
payment of any kind or money transfers and direct He was a 2 year old golden cocker spaniel with
never use a link to your financial institution that has
debit, as these can be open to misuse and it is rare to adorable ears. He also had an impressive pedigree.
been sent to you by email or that is on a website.
recover money sent this way Best of all he wasnt even very expensive as his
Ifthese were from fake emails these may lead to
family was moving overseas and they wanted to
when shopping through official classified websites, fakewebsites
make sure he went to a good home.
or online auction sites, ensure you complete the
Once you have arrived at a website, double check
transaction through the websites payment system. I contacted the seller immediately and after a
that the web address is correct scammers can use
If you transact outside these systems you lose any lengthy email exchange, they decided that I was a
malware to make your computer redirect you to a
protection that the site offers good fit to take care of Buster.
scam copy of a legitimate website Avoid scams and fraud
never send your bank or credit card details by email I made a money transfer of $375 to pay for
always log out from your internet banking session and Scams are dishonest tricks designed to fool you into giving
only by a secure web page Buster to be transported to me and went on a pet
close your internet browser when you have finished someone your money, passwords, personal details or
shopping spree so that Buster had everything he
always print and keep a copy of the transaction other valuables.
needed when he arrived. if any windows pop up unexpectedly during an internet
if you think you have provided your account details banking session, be suspicious, especially if they direct Scammers love the anonymous nature of the internet.
I went to the airport to pick him up but they said
toascammer, contact your bank or financial you to another website which asks for your account Ifyou are shopping, banking, socialising or playing games
they had no record of Buster in their systems. I
institution immediately. information or password. If this happens, do not enter online, be on the lookout for people, emails or websites
tried calling the seller but the phone number was
your account information, password or any personal which try to deceive you.
details into the site and close the window immediately
If it seems too I contacted the online classifieds website to find
dont send your financial information by email
Dodgy sites and dodgy dealers are not always easy to
spotbut knowing some of the warning signs can reduce

good to be true more contact information, but they told me I was

the victim of a classifieds scam and that several
toanyone your risk.

it probably is other people had complained about the ad.

Besides the $375 I lost to the scammer I was also

avoid using a public computer or public Wi-Fi
connections to do your online banking
Here are some basic steps to avoid online scams

protect your identity: your personal details are

left with a pile of dog toys and food that I didnt need make sure you are aware of, and act on, the security privateand invaluable keep them that way and away
advice provided by your financial institution. from scammers

Be aware of phishing

dont respond: ignore suspicious emails, letters, phone Phishing emails used to be associated with banks, but when you are on a banking website, look for a key or
calls or text messages press delete, throw them out David was scammed $450 and couldnt these days scammers will try to trick you into providing padlock icon and that the website address begins with
or just hang up pay his rent your personal and banking details by pretending to be https, to make sure the site is secure
from all sorts of well known and respected organisations,
dont let scammers push your buttons: scammers will never send your personal, credit card or online
including government agencies.
play on your emotions to get what they want Im really busy with work, so I signed up to online account details via email.
banking and found it was an easy way to pay my While some emails will have tell tale scamming signs
resist the personal touch: watch out for scammers bills and maintain my accounts. such as misspelt words or poor grammar, others can Know how to spot money transfer scams
posing as someone that you know and trust,
look like the real thing, using corporate logos and links to andadvance fee fraud
pretending to know you, or pretending to be from well One day I received an email which looked like it
genuine looking websites.
known public companies or government departments had come from my bank saying that my account With the rise of internet banking it is easy to transfer
had some irregularities and that I needed to If you receive one of these emails and chances are you money online. Unfortunately this has also meant an
stay one step ahead of scammers: visit the loginto a secure site to confirm my identity. probably will do not follow any of the links. You could increase in the number and types of scams that try to trick
SCAMwatchwebsite at to It had the proper logo and everything, so I also lose money and put your accounts at risk if you you into sending your money to scammers.
learn more about scams that might target you. clickedon the link in the email and typed in provide any of your personal details.
You can also subscribe to their email alerts at mydetails. Once you send money to someone it can be very hard to Here are some basic steps to avoid phishing scams get it back especially if they are overseas. Worse still,
tag/ScamWatchEmailAlert I was still worrying about my account later that you could be recruited as a money mule and find yourself
day, so to be safe I rang the bank to double check never respond to requests for personal information in
in an illegal money laundering ring.
that the problem was fixed. It was then that the an unexpected email or on a website linked to from an

bank lady told me that the message was a scam unexpected email, even if it is supposedly from your Scammers use all sorts of stories to try and get your
If you have identified a scam or been a victim bank or an organisation you know or trust money. For example, dont be lured by the prospect
designed to trick me into revealing my banking
offraud of a new job opportunity where you can earn large
passwords and details. be sceptical if you receive a request to update, validate
commissions for transferring money to other employees.
report it to your service provider (eg bank, or confirm your personal information if in doubt,
She said the bank didnt email its customers Likewise, dont be fooled by an email saying you have
or a social networking site), your ISP, and your contact the organisation by phone
likethat. She was really helpful and froze inherited a large sum of money from a long lost relative
local police
my account straight away. I was relieved but never enter your personal, credit card or online and that you need to pay some fees to claim the
you can report it to the ACCC via the someonehad already taken out $450. It could account information on a website if you are not certain inheritance this is a scam.
SCAMwatch website ( have been much worse but I didnt have enough it is genuine
or by calling 1300 795 995. topay the rent that week and I had to change
allmy banking details and get new cards, check the website address carefully, remember that
whichwasa pain. scammers often set up fake websites with similar
addresses to real ones

Protect your identity and privacy

Here are some basic steps to avoid being involved in a

money transfer scam
Identity theft refers to using another persons name or
other personal information, usually for financial gain.
avoid using public computers to access your personal
information. If you do use a public computer, check You wouldnt hand your
dont fall for elaborate stories try to remove the
Identity theft is a criminal offence. to see if the service provider has any secure settings.
Always remember to clear the history, close the web personal and financial
emotion from the situation and think before you act While the internet has improved communications and the

dont respond to emails offering you the chance of

ease of doing business, the downside is that fraudsters
browser and log out before you leave the terminal.
details over to a stranger
in the street so dont
and other criminals may have more opportunities avoid using Wi-Fi hotspots for sensitive internet use.
making easy money
to obtain details about you, where you live, and your These are often open and unencrypted. A hacker may be

doit online.
verify any person or company before you transfer personal life. able to break into your computer through a hotspot and
money or provide your credit card or bank potentially access your personal information.
By stealing your identity, a person may access your bank
account, obtain credit cards or loans in your name, and
potentially ruin your credit rating. Here are some additional steps to protect your identity
If you think your personal information has been
and privacy
Lyn was taken for a ride by an online Here are some basic steps to protect your identity and inappropriately used or accessed online, you can
lover lodge a complaint with the Office of the Australian thoroughly check your account statements, including
privacy online
Information Commissioner at credit cards, bank statements, telephone and
check your privacy and security settings on your social or phone 1300 363 992 internetbills
I joined a dating site to see what it was like.
networking profile, never give away your account
Pretty soon I was talking to a nice man from If you suspect any fraudulent use of your identity destroy or shred personal information dont just
details, and regularly update your computer security
Greece. He told me all about his home town and you should report it to the website operator throw it out
even sent me photos. He seemed really nice. (eg bank or social networking site), your ISP and
check your credit report at least once a year
use strong passwords and change them regularly your localpolice.
After six months he told me he loved me and I this canhelp you catch any unauthorised activity.
thepersonal information you put in your social
couldnt have felt happier. A few months later he Creditreports can be ordered from
networking profile may be used by scammers to
told me his mother had cancer and had to have
guessyour passwords Veda Advantage at or
chemotherapy. He said he couldnt afford to pay
phone 1300 762 207
for it and he didnt know what to do. dont share your personal information in an email,
SMS or on a social networking site with people you Dun and Bradstreet at or
I felt so sorry for him. Id recently had a family
dont know and trust phone13 23 33
member go through cancer treatment so I agreed
to help him out. I took out loans so that he could dont accept a friend request or follow a request from Tasmanian Collection Service at
pay the hospital bills. After sending the money, a stranger the best way to keep scammers out of or phone 03 6213 5555
Inever heard from him again. I had to sell my your life is to never let them in
house to repay the debt.

check out websites privacy policies. Only conduct
business, visit sites or become involved with websites Justins online friend stole his identity Checklist of basic steps to be smart online
that have adequate privacy policies that cover at least

who your information will be passed onto I set up a profile on a social networking site, Preventing malware and reducing spam Transacting online and avoiding scams
added all my friends and posted a few pictures. and fraud
why the information is being collected Think carefully before you click on links in emails
Ifilled out some of the basic optional fields, such
or on social networking sites. Its alwaysbetter check you are on a secure page
how the information will be used as my birthday, hometown, email address and my
to type the address into the address bar yourself
interests. I also joined a few groups, such as my use a secure payment method
how you can access information the organisation
old school and one of my old jobs. dont open email attachments if youre not
holds about you dont send your financial information by email
expecting them or you dont know the sender
I chose secure settings so that only my friends
if you do not agree with how websites and companies dont respond to emails offering you the chance
could see my profile I thought this was safe scan email attachments with security software
will use your details, do not provide them. of making easy money
enough. before opening them
verify any person or company before you
I started getting a few friend requests from dont give your email address away unless you
transfermoney, provide your credit card or
people I didnt know, but I accepted some of them are confident the recipient is a trusted party.
bankaccount details.
because they had similar interests to me or were
friends with my friends. Protecting your identity and privacy

With so much of my personal history available, one dont share your personal information in an
of these new friends was able to forge documents email, SMS or on a social networking site with
and even make a fake ID using my photo. people you dont know and trust

He then got a credit card in my name and ran up a avoid using public computers or Wi-Fi hotspots
debt of $500. to access or provide personal information.

Since then I am very careful about what I post,

even if I think its private.
Still unsure about how to stay smart online? Visit page 30
to find out where to go for more information.

How to be safe online
dont post photos of you or your family and friends that learn how third party applications on social networking
may be inappropriate or that your family and friends sites use your information. You can often control this
havent agreed to being posted by accessing your privacy or security settings

never click on suspicious links even if they are from download or find out more information on the
Just as you need to be smart when transacting online, you So be very careful about the information you share and your friends they may have inadvertently sent them Cybersafety Help Button at
also need to be aware of the risks of social networking, how you protect it. Criminals may also attempt to use to you helpbutton. It is an online resource that gives easy
particularly when interacting with people that you havent thisinformation to facilitate other illegal activities in the access to cyber safety help and information.
be wary of strangers people are not always who they
spoken to or met in person. real world.
say they are. Its a good idea to limit the number of
The unfortunate reality is not everyone is who they claim The social networking sites will often offer you options to people you accept as friends to people you know or
If you suspect any fraudulent use of your identity
to be online. Not everyone you meet online is trustworthy control the type of information you share with other users have met in real life and trust
you should report it to your social networking
enough to be considered a friend. and options to manage the people you want to interact
always type your social networking website address service provider and your local police.
with. However, you still need to be careful about what
into your browser or use a bookmark.
Social networking safely personal information you put online and who you accept Parents: if you or your child has been harassed
as your friend. orbullied on a social networking site,

Never accept a
Social networking sites have become very popular ways to
go to or
communicate online. Here are some basic steps you can take to stay safe when for advice and tips.

friend request from

using social networking sites
People use them to stay in touch with friends, make new
Download the Cybersafety Help Button at
friends or business connections, and share information set your online profile to private or friends only
and opinions about a range of topics.
protect your accounts with strong passwords
astranger Its an online
resource that gives children, teenagers,
However, some people using these sites have ill intentions parents and teachers instant access to help and
have a different password for each social networking information on cyber safety issues 24/7.
and may use your information to embarrass you or Here are some additional steps you can take to stay safe
site so that if one password is stolen, not all of your
damage your reputation. when using social networking sites
accounts will be at risk If you are concerned about online behaviour that
Criminals can also use your information to steal your check if your social networking site has a safety centre. involves sexual exploitation of a child or other
think before you post expect that people other than criminal activity, you should report this to your
identity. Indeed, some criminals will use social networking This will provide a number of tips and examples of best
your friends can see the information you post online local police, or phone CrimeStoppers on
sites to find out more about you and your interests so they practice when social networking online
can target you more efficiently with scams. 1800 333 000.
dont post information that would make you or your
remember that any information available about you
family vulnerable such as your date of birth, address,
online is potentially there forever. You can check what
information about your daily routine, holiday plans, or
information about you is publicly available online by
your childrens schools
typing your own name into a search engine

Deal with offensive content

When you are using the internet, you may encounter remind your children not to talk to strangers online
Sarah was being harassed by a stranger content that you find offensive such as explicit sexual Report any inappropriate content to ACMA by
monitor and supervise internet use by having the
activity or material containing excessive violence or sexual completing the relevant online form at
computer in a visible place in your home
violence, drug use, or criminal activity. or by calling
I like social networking because its a good way of
1800 880 176. tell your children that if they are uncomfortable talking
keeping in touch with what my friends are doing. You can make a complaint about offensive content to
I can see the photos theyve posted, and they can to you they can contact the Cybersmart Online Helpline
the ACMA.
see mine. Ive also made new friends online. (Kids Helpline) at
You can do this by completing the relevant online form Protect your children online
One day I received a friend request from someone Here are some basic steps for your children when
at or by calling 1800 880 176.
The internet offers an exciting world of experiences for theyreonline
Id never met before. Claire was about the same Make sure you take note of the offensive websites address
children and the whole family. It can be entertaining,
age as me, and I could see from her profile that we so the ACMA can access the online content. never give out any personal information. This includes
educational and rewarding.
liked the same music, so I accepted. your name, address, phone number, any family
If the content is sufficiently serious, such as child
However, using the internet also involves risks and information, where you go to school or where you
Everything was ok for a while, and we would pornography, the ACMA may refer the material to the
challenges. playsport
sometimes chat online. But then Claire started appropriate law enforcement agency.
writing nasty things about me and sending me Children might be exposed to content that is sexually think before you post or share photos with people online
threatening messages. You can also contact your local police to report serious,
explicit, violent, prohibited or even illegal. They may
illegal online content such as child pornography. never share your passwords, not even with your friends
alsoexperience cyber bullying or be at risk from contact
I was really upset, so I checked my social
Here are some basic steps to deal with offensive by strangers. think carefully before you open any attachments in
networking sites safety information to see what I
could do about it. Following their advice, I reported onlinecontent emails from people you dont know and trust.
Children may unknowingly or deliberately share
her using the report link, and also blocked her so take note of the website address so the ACMA can personal information without realising they may become
that she cant contact me again. access the online content victims of identity fraud, or that they are leaving behind

Now I am much more careful. I have increased make a complaint to the ACMA by completing an
content that might not reflect well on them in the future. Stranger danger
the privacy settings on my profile so that only my
friends can contact me, and I only accept friend
online form, sending an email or making a phone call Here are some basic steps for you to protect your
applies to people
requests from people I have met in real life. help protect your children from offensive content by
installing and maintaining a content filter on your for younger children, set up your computer security online, just as it
computer or using parental controls on your security
software and letting them know that they can do if they
software to only access approved websites and email
addresses. This is known as whitelisting and will help doesin real life
come across offensive content. to block inappropriate content

Dealing with cyber bullying download or find out more information on the Cybersafety The AFPworks with state and territory police, other
Help Button at so agencies and ISPs in the battle against online sexual
Unfortunately, your children may be exposed to cyber
thatyour child can access support immediately if they exploitation ofchildren.
bullying. This can include
are bullied.
Here are some basic steps to help deal with child grooming
receiving abusive emails or texts
Deal with online child grooming monitor where your children go online
unkind messages or inappropriate images being
posted on social networking sites Online child grooming is when an adult forms a educate your children not to share personal
relationship with someone under the age of 16 with the information online
being excluded from online chats. intent of later having sexual contact with that child or
young person. remind your children to never meet someone in
Like other forms of bullying such as verbal abuse,
never respond to negative messages but save the personwho they have met online unless a responsible
social exclusion and physical aggression, cyber bullying This can take place in chat rooms, instant messaging,
message and the details of the sender. If you are a adult is also present
may result in the targeted person developing social, social networking sites and email.
parent, you may want to save the message so your
psychological and educational issues. report suspicious behaviour to your local police or
child doesnt keep reading it and feel worse Signs that a young person might be the target of online Crime Stoppers by phoning 1800 333 000.
While cyber bullying is similar to real life bullying it also grooming may include excessive use of the computer,
monitor where your children go online
differs in some ways late night computer use and secretive computer use, Here are some additional steps for you to protect your
remind your children to only have people they know changes in sexualised language and behavioureither children online
it can occur 24/7 and a child can be targeted at home
and trust as online friends/contacts becoming more or less sexualised in language, behaviour
explore the internet with your children consider
it can involve harmful material being widely and and dressand a change in the way they relate to friends
reassure your children that you love and support them using safe zones and exploring child-friendly websites.
rapidly sent to a large audience, for example, rumours or family. These signs do not necessarily mean a young
and you will help them Bookmark websites for them that you have approved
and images can be posted on public forums person is being groomed. They could also be signs that a
report cyber bullying to your childrens school and/or young person is experiencing more general social issues let your children know that not all websites are
it can provide the bully with a sense of relative
the relevant social networking site or service provider associated with growing up. suitable and if they encounter a site that makes
anonymity and distance from the target, so there is a
them feel uncomfortable, they should leave the site
lack of immediate feedback or consequences. if your child has been involved in cyber bullying and If you think that you or your child is being groomed
immediately, either by clicking on back or closing the
seems distressed or shows changes in behaviour online,then contact the Australian Federal Police (AFP)
Here are some basic steps to help deal with cyber bullying browser altogether
ormood, seek professional help. You can do this bycompleting an online reporting form at the ThinkUKnow
increase your online security and privacy and block through the Cyber Smart Online Hotline at cyber safety website reassure your children that they wont be denied
communications from cyber bullies This provides access to the internet if they report seeing
free, online counselling for children and young people. inappropriate content
Your childs school may also be able to provide support
and guidance

for older children, consider tools that block access
to chat rooms and prevent giving out personal If you or your child has been harassed or Checklist of basic steps to be safe online
information bullied on a social networking site, go to or Social networking safely Protecting your children online
check to see if your ISP is for advice andtips.
Family Friendly by looking set your profile to private install and maintain a content filter on your
for a lady bird logo on their If you believe someone has behaved computer or use parental controls on your
protect your accounts with strong passwords security software
website. These ISPs must inappropriately or in a sexual manner towards your
adhere to the Internet child or children, report it to your local police, or use discretion when accepting friends for young children, set up your computer to only
Industry Association codes of practice. They offer phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
access approved websites and email addresses
information and online tools to help parents and think carefully before you click on suspicious
If there is a threat to your childs safety the police links even if they are from your friends monitor where you children go online
children use the internet in a fun andsafe way.
can help. In a life threatening and time critical
situation call Triple Zero (000). dont post information that would make you or educate your children not to share personal
your family vulnerable, such as your date of birth information online
Download the Cybersafety Help Button at and address report cyber bullying to your childs school and Its an online
your ISP
resource that gives children, teenagers, dont post photos of you or your family and
parents and teachers instant access to help and friends that may be inappropriate photos that remind your children to never meet someone
information on cyber safety issues 24/7. your family and friends havent agreed to being in person who they have met online unless a
posted or that identify where you live, work or responsible adult is also present
goto school.
tell your children that if they are
uncomfortabletalking to you they can contact the
Dealing with offensive content
Cybersmart Online Helpline (Kids Helpline) at
take note of the website address

make a complaint to the ACMA. report suspicious behaviour to your local police
or Crime Stoppers by phoning 1800 333 000

download the Cybersafety Help Button at

Still unsure about how to stay safe online? Visit page 30

to find out where to go for more information.

Where to go for more information Where to go to report online incidents

Cyber security Offensive content Fraud Offensive content for individuals and report any loss or fraud attempt to your service Report any inappropriate content to ACMA by
small business provider (eg bank, social networking site), your ISP, completing the relevant online form at
Online shopping and your local police or by calling 1800880176 for large companies or phone 1300 302 502 Identity fraud and identity theft Scams and phishing
copies of the Australian Governments Cyber Security
Strategy are available at report any fraudulent use of your identity to your report any scams to the ACCC on the SCAMwatch
service provider (eg bank, social networking site), website at or phone the ACCC for information on the Internet yourISP, and your local police Infocentre on 1300 795 995 during business hours
Industry Associations voluntary code of practice on
cyber security (the icode) also report any scams to your service provider (eg bank,
Scams and fraud Malware
social networking site), your ISP, and your local police
Cyber safety If you are having difficulties removing malware from
your computer report the matter to your ISP or contact Spam SCAMwatch twitter follow SCAMwatch on Twitter at
a professional to remove it. The icode website has or @SCAMwatch_gov you can report or complain about spam to the ACMA information on finding professional help at
refer to, or for spam SMS or phone 1800 880 176 Spam forward the message to 0429 999 888 Privacy Online grooming
if you think your personal information has been
phone the spam hotline on 1300 855 180 you can report online grooming to the AFP by
Identity security interfered with online, you may be able to complain to
completing the online reporting form at
spam SMS can be forwarded to 0429 999 888 the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
at or phone 1300 363 992

you can also report any online incident to
Crime Stoppers by phoning 1800 333 000

Glossary of some online terms

ADSL or asymmetric digital subscriber line Firewall protects a computer network from Phishing a type of scam, generally sent by SMS or Short Message Service is more
is a broadband internet connection unauthorised access it may be email that will direct you to a website commonly referred to as texting. It
using telephone lines to connect to the hardware, software or a combination that looks like the real website of a is used to send short messages over
internet. It offers higher speeds then retailer or financial institution. The mobile phones. MMS or Multimedia
ISP or Internet Service Provider is a
traditional dial up connections website is designed to encourage you Messaging Service is similar to SMS but
company that you pay to provide you
to reveal financial details, phishing for is used to send messages that include
Blacklist a list of website addresses or email with access to the internet
information such as your credit card multimedia content such as photos
addresses that cannot be accessed by a
Malware is short for malicious software and numbers, account names, passwords,
user Software is a general term for various kinds of
is a generic term for software that is and other personal information
programs used to operate computers
Bot a single compromised computer, designed to specifically damage, disrupt
PIN personal identification number and related devices
sometimes called a zombie or take control of systems
Post is when you make information available Spam electronic junk mail
Botnet a network of compromised computers, Modem a device that links a computer to other
online. This can include updating your
sometimes called a zombie army computers or the internet through a Spyware a type of malware that is used to spy on
social network details or placing photos
telephone line people using the internet and collect
Broadband a type of fast internet connection, of yourself on a website
information about their online activities
it includes ADSL, Ethernet, cable, Passphrase a password based on a sentence
Router is a device used to connect computer for the purposes of marketing
wireless or satellite connections. Unlike or phrase, which is then altered by
networks together
dial up connections, broadband offers replacing some letters with numbers Trojan a type of malware disguised as a
internet access which is always on and symbols to make it a strong Scareware is fake security software that is sent to legitimate program
password users by unscrupulous tactics, such as
Encryption a process where information is URL or Uniform Resource Locator is the
messages on compromised websites
transformed to make it unreadable to Peer to peer when two or more computers are address of a web page on the internet
devices that dont have the encryption networks connected and share resources Smart phone is a mobile phone that has advanced
key. Most wireless network routers capabilities such as being able to access
include encryption functions as a the internet
security setting

Virus a type of malware that attaches itself
to a program or file, which is how it
spreads from one computer to another.
It can be spread by human action, such
as sharing infected files or sending
emails with viruses as attachments

Whitelist a list of website addresses or email

addresses that can be accessed by

Wi-Fi wireless fidelity a type of wireless

networking technology

Worm a type of malware that is similar

to avirus but can spread without

Zombie a single compromised computer,

sometimes called a bot.