by Stay Smart Online 15 November 2011


© Commonwealth of Australia 2010  © Stay Smart Online

It’s important to secure your computer properly—otherwise you may be putting yourself and possibly your family and friends at risk.

If malicious software infects your computer it can stop it working properly, can delete or corrupt your files and can allow others to access your computer and your confidential information.

Having up-to-date security software installed and activated, securing your internet connections and services and understanding and managing the emails and files you do receive or download can help reduce the risks.

Backing-up you data can also help you recover your information if a virusdestroys your files, or your computer is stolen or damaged.


© Commonwealth of Australia 2010  © Stay Smart Online

Top tips

  • Install security software and update it regularly.Install and activate anti-virus, anti-spyware software and install a firewall.
  • Turn on automatic updates so all your software receives the latest fixes. New viruses and spywareare created every day, so it is important that your software is up-to-date and can detect new threats.
  • Set strong passwords, particularly for important online accounts and change them regularly —consider making a diary entry to remind yourself.
  • Be suspicious of emails from people you don’t know, particularly if they promise you money, good health or a solution to all your problems. The same applies for websites. Remember, anything that looks too good to be true usually is.
  • Stop and think before you click on links or attachments in emailsSpam emails often look legitimate but they can be used to carry viruses and other malicious software.
  • Stop and think before you share any personal or financial information—about you, your friends or family. Don’t disclose identity information (drivers licence, Medicare No, birth date, address) through email or online unless you have initiated the contact and you know the other person involved.
  • Before disposing of your computer, remove all traces of your personal data. Special wiping software can be downloaded or purchased to help you clean your hard drive.
  • Keep yourself informed about the latest cyber security risks. Subscribe to email notification services that keep you informed about the latestcyber security risks and solutions. See our Alert Service.