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Netsafe urges people to stay connected and safe

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Netsafe has launched a new education campaign, aiming to help people have better online experiences during lockdown.

 ‘Stay Connected, Stay Safe’ encourages people to use and engage with all the different types of technology on offer to help them stay connected and provides tips and advice about how to do it safely.

The internet and devices will play an important part in keeping everyone connected, and this campaign aims to promote the opportunities while helping people manage the risks, says Netsafe chief executive officer Martin Cocker.

“Most people will be relying on internet connected devices to stay informed, entertained and connected in ways they’ve never had to do before.”

“Now is a great time to explore the different technological options available that makes life more convenient and enjoyable, but it would be naive to ignore the risks that will bring.”

 “The rapid adoption of technology, increased stress and physical separation from communities are combining to create a perfect storm for trouble online. We are already seeing that cyber criminals are using this opportunity to groom, defraud and exploit people.”

 Netsafe is encouraging people to be especially vigilant, and support whānau and friends who might need a little bit of help connecting online.

“We’re asking people to spread the #stayconnectedstaysafe message as some apps and platforms will present risks first-time users don’t necessarily understand. Talk to your loved ones and equip them with the skills required to use these tools safely so they can have a positive experience and become a part of your digital bubble,” says Martin.

Netsafe are asking people to use the #stayconnectedstaysafe on social media to share how they have made a difference to someone else. The resources on netsafe.org.nz including the 10 best online safety tips for lockdown will also help people navigate these uncharted waters.

 “We understand the growing thirst for more information and the need to provide access to credible advice, links to websites and useful guides. Netsafe’s website eliminates time searching for answers on how to control the risks – so you can get on with connecting safely.”

 As New Zealand’s main online safety organisation, Netsafe’s team of experts are available seven days a week to assist people and provide free support with whatever trouble they encounter.

Netsafe’s tips to help you #stayconnectedstaysafe

1. Do a stocktake: Assess how many devices in your house connect to the internet to understand where the risks are and start to mitigate them.

2. Assess new technology: Investigate new apps or platforms by checking out terms and conditions, reviews and minimum age requirements before using them.

3. Secure your virtual house: Use strong passwords, update your software and use two-factor authentication where possible.

4. Share your experience: Talk to your friends and family about the technologies you use and let them know your tips and tricks to eliminate risk.

5. Combat misinformation: Guide people to official information sources like covid19.govt.nz for the latest advice.

6. See something, say something: If you see suspicious or criminal activity online, report it. If you don’t know where to report, visit netsafe.org.nz for help. 

7. Practice safe clicking: COVID-19 is being used as a lure so be careful clicking on links, attachments or ads from unknown sources as they might be hiding malware.

8. Protect your info: Criminals are harvesting personal information. Stop and think carefully about the details you disclose or whether they need to be entered online.

9. Have fun: Explore the technologies available to help you connect, learn, stay informed and participate in Aotearoa’s new virtual society.

10. Help others: Share your online safety tips and experiences using the #stayconnectedstaysafe hashtag to help others.

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