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New Zealand’s first ever Cyber Security Awareness Week has been launched this morning by Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams.
The week is designed to raise awareness among New Zealanders and small businesses of cyber security risks, and the simple steps they can take to protect their personal, financial and business information online.
The initiative, being held at the same time as Australia’s Cyber Security Awareness Week, has been developed by Netsafe in partnership with the Government.
More than 2000 New Zealanders are affected by cyber crime every day in the form of computer viruses and malware, credit card fraud, online scams, phishing and identity theft.
It is estimated that cyber crime cost New Zealand about $625 million in 2011.
“Cyber security is becoming increasingly important for New Zealanders, businesses and government. Cyber intrusions have the potential to impact on the reliability of critical infrastructure, government services, and the economy,” Ms Adams says.
“It’s important that we make sure that New Zealanders are aware of what the dangers are and take the right precautions to protect themselves against potential cyber security threats.”
Ms Adams says there are some basic things people can do to improve their cyber security.
“Having a good anti-virus programme, proper password protection, ensuring that important data is backed-up, and securing wireless connections will make a big difference.”
The Government is increasing its investment in cyber security through the Cyber Security Strategy.
The strategy provides a framework for industry, the public and government to meet the challenges posed by the increasing and evolving cyber security threats.
Last year the Government launched the National Cyber Security Centre, which provides enhanced protection for government and industry against advanced and sophisticated cyber intrusions.