Staying safe this Christmas

Media Release, 26 November 2013

With Christmas stockings tipped to be brimming with technology this year Telstra is reminding people to include cyber safety tips as stocking stuffers to ensure technology gifts are being used safely and sensibly – by young and old.

The Cyber Safety guides – available free from Telstra’s website, aim to teach children and parents, teens and grandparents (both the cyber savvy and new learners) how to avoid common pitfalls online, including identity fraud, shopping scams and cyber bullying.

Gordon Ballantyne, Group Executive Telstra Retail said when it comes to online safety a few simple steps go a long way to keeping everyone safe to enjoy their online experience.

“When it comes to new technology gifts at Christmas time, we know that many people will be excited to jump online to start their online shopping, gaming or social networking. Telstra’s free Cyber Safety guides are available to remind everyone of the simple steps you can take to help keep the family safe while online,” Mr Ballantyne said.

Mr Ballantyne also encouraged Australians to install safety measures, such as BigPond® Security software or Smart Controls® for mobile phones, for additional security.

“You wouldn’t think of giving your child a bike without a helmet, or letting them go out for a ride without teaching them road safety. It’s just as important to let your nearest and dearest know about the risks you can encounter in the online world.

“With almost two thirds of Australians embracing social networking and the same number logging in from a smartphone, this reminder to take care online is timely for anyone receiving a special gift this Christmas[1],” Mr Ballantyne said.

Telstra’s top cyber safety tips:

  1. Turn on privacy settings and inbuilt device security features
  2. Think before you post. Make your social network presence a positive one
  3. Think twice before giving your personal details online
  4. Choose passwords carefully. Make them hard to guess and change them regularly
  5. Secure it. Only use wireless services that require passwords, even when you’re on holiday
  6. Know the site. Only give financial details on secure websites or apps
  7. Direct children to safe websites, don’t let them play on sites inappropriate for under 18s
  8. Ensure children know to alert a trusted adult if they see something bad

Telstra’s free cyber safety kits contain practical tips and tools to stay safe online including topics such as:

  1. safeguarding devices
  2. protecting personal information
  3. scams and phishing
  4. banking, payments and shopping
  5. social networking.

People can also visit Telstra's cyber safety page for other tips to stay safe online – regardless of age, online interests or skill level.

[1] Telstra Sensis Yellow Pages Social Media report 2013