Protecting yourself against online security threats
You can protect your computer’s hardware and software from malware (short for malicious software) threats by making sure your operating system and apps are always up to date, and installing and maintaining reliable and reputable anti-virus software.
Current security threats - February 2018
Two major computer processor security flaws called Meltdown and Spectre were discovered early 2018. These security flaws can result in sensitive information on your devices being accessed without your knowledge. Updates are being made to computer and mobile operating systems to protect you from these flaws, and we recommend you update your computers and mobile devices as soon as updates are available. If you have a computer or mobile device that you use to store personal or sensitive information and is no longer supported or able to get the latest updates, we recommend you consider replacing your device to a supported model.
For further information on these security flaws please refer to CERT NZ’s advisory notice or visit your device’s manufacture website for specific security advice and updates.
What is malware?
Malware, which includes computer viruses, spyware, trojans, and rootkits, can infect computers and devices through compromised websites, email attachments, and affected files from attached devices such as a USB sticks. Malware can corrupt and delete data on your computer and/or use your email account to infect other computers by sending illegal spam emails. If your computer is running really slowly, it might be a sign it is infected.
Protecting your computer and devices against threats
Malware threats are changing all the time – updating your operating system, anti-virus software and apps are your first line of defence against many bugs and viruses.
To help keep your computer and devices virus-free, make sure you:
- Update your operating system, software and apps as soon as updates are available.
- Install and maintain reliable and reputable anti-virus (AV) software.
- Configure anti-virus software properly so it doesn’t slow your computer down and automatically updates everyday.
- Schedule a weekly anti-virus scan of your computer.
- Always type www.bnz.co.nz into your browser when you do your banking, or visit our site.
- Think twice before clicking. Take a moment to look at it and if anything seems remotely suspicious, whether it’s an email or on a website, avoid it. Or you could verify the information with the company using published phone numbers or websites.
- Choose strong passwords. Avoid any significant names or numbers, like birthdays, and try to use a mix of numbers and letters in lower and upper case. Learn more about passwords.
- Never share your login details or confidential banking and personal information with anyone, not even with family members. Don’t store your information where it can be read or accessed by anyone else.