This week is Connect Smart week. That means you will see and hear about a number of initiatives that underline the need to be cyber-savvy and for people to do more to protect themselves online. The internet is home to networked convenience and fast information but it is also where identity theft, fraud and other kinds of nefarious things happen.
The Connect Smart project is an interesting and relevant initiative by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC). Within the DPMC sits the National Cyber Policy Office (NCPO) which was established to lead the development of cyber security policy advice for government.
Part of the NCPO’s brief is education and a key Connect Smart message reminds New Zealanders to improve their digital security and to protect their personal information. This is where we come in because personal information is also our business. We’re keen to support Connect Smart and are encouraged that another agency is sharing the role of promoting cyber-safety messages.
We’ve also already done some work in this area. For example, check out the OWLS project we undertook with Netsafe and the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO. The brief was to develop a resource for primary school teachers to help them teach children the importance of being careful online. We think the result is a successful model for teaching cyber-safety and want people to get their children’s schools involved in using it. For a closer look at OWLS, find it here.
There’s also our Data Safety Toolkit which is aimed at agencies and businesses. Data breaches are bad for reputations and businesses and in some cases, cause harm to the people whose personal information has been disclosed. The toolkit is designed to help organisations work through the best strategies for dealing with data breaches and also has plenty of tips on how to prevent them in the first place.
These, together with the other resources that are being made available as part of Connect Smart, will help people stay connected and smart. To find our more about Connect Smart, go to the Twitter handle and check out the hashtag #connectsmart or take their quiz and find out what kind of cyber citizen you are.