Five ways to stay cyber-safe

Since we all use technology, we are all at risk and responsible for cyber safety, regardless of where we are. Following these steps can help to keep you and others safe online.

Use strong passphrases

It’s an oldie but a goodie. Passwords trace back to ancient times with code words providing access to secret locations or knowledge. It’s no different now except that the knowledge is your personal data and the criminals grow wilier every day.

Strong passphrases:

  • are long and made up of nonsense phrases only you can remember (eg. Crystal Onion Clay Pretzel)
  • are complex and contain numbers and special characters (Crystal 0n10n clay pr3tz3l!)
  • do not contain ANY personal information
  • are unique and not recycled between accounts.

Read more about good passwords

Protect your accounts with additional security

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) might be a mouthful but it’s your best friend when it comes to keeping your accounts secure. Make sure you add it to your personal accounts anywhere it’s available. Many ACU systems are protected by MFA for both staff and students and more are being added all the time.

Remember, MFA works by combining something you know (your login details) with something you have (your mobile device). That way, a hacker must somehow obtain both of these things to trespass into your account.

Keep your devices up-to-date

We talked about it earlier this month but it’s so important we’re covering it again. Updating your devices with the latest software versions means you always have the most up-to-date protection against attacks. The best way to do this is to enable auto-updates wherever available and to keep an eye out for update notifications.

Follow safe browsing habits

If you wouldn’t hand your wallet to anyone you see in a shopping mall, don’t neglect good safe browsing habits when you’re online:

  • Never allow websites to store your credit card details. Enter them every time you shop.
  • Install browser extensions with extreme caution. These extra software ‘add-ons’ may contain security weaknesses at best and malicious malware at worst.
  • Trust your gut instinct and avoid any website that feels ‘off’ or is full of pop-up ads.
  • Look for proof the website connection is secure. In some browsers this is represented by a padlock icon. Note that this doesn’t mean the website itself is trustworthy, just that the details you share are as private as possible.

Be vigilant and accountable for your own knowledge and awareness

Maintaining base level cyber awareness and knowledge is important to make sure you know enough about the threats to keep yourself and others safe.

This means:

  • Knowing the telltale signs of a phishing scam. To assist, check out this ‘Spot the phish’ training provided by ACU.
  • Keeping an eye on emerging trends and threats (like reading ACU cyber security bulletin articles)
  • Reporting suspicious emails to ACU cyber security using the Report Message button in Outlook.

October is Cyber Awareness Month

Join a webinar on cyber basics featuring Director Vic/Tas Australian Signals Directorate, Daniel Storey.

Details: Monday 30 October 11am AEDT.

Register to attend


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