Skip to navigation Skip to content
Close up of students writing on outside table at Burwood Campus

2 October 2023

It’s Cyber Security Awareness Month: here’s how small changes can keep you safe online

Cyber Security Awareness Month, now in its 20th year, runs throughout October and there’s no better time to review your online behaviour. Cyber crime is on the rise and, while we may be familiar with high-profile data breaches and common phishing tactics via media coverage, hackers continue to devise remarkably sophisticated techniques in their attempts to intercept our valuable information.

For 2023, the theme for Cyber Security Awareness Month is ‘Be cyber wise – don’t compromise’ which serves as a reminder that complacency can be a risk in itself. Our online behaviours can impact our lives in dramatic ways and we must all remain vigilant about our cyber safety. Thankfully, staying safe online is very achievable by instilling a little awareness and good habits!

What you can do to stay safe online

This Cyber Security Awareness Month, we focus on four simple behaviours that can go a long way in keeping yourself, your loved ones and our communities safe while we connect online.

These behaviours can be applied across a number of digital platforms – including text, email, WhatsApp and the like – and all address possible vulnerabilities that cyber criminals may target. Overall, remember that if something looks phishy or an offer seems a bit too good to be true, it probably is.

Sushmitha Kishore Kumar SinghCheck out the Deakin Life Instagram channel this week too, as we’ll hear more insights from Sushmitha Kishore Kumar Singh, a certified cyber crime intervention officer registered with National Security Database (NSD) IndiaCurrently studying a Masters in Business Administration (Cyberlaw) at Deakin, Sushmitha has worked with thousands of students and parents on various issues like videogame addiction, toxic social media trends, financial fraud, teen suicides, blackmails, and paedophiles. She has also worked with the Indian army in training soldiers and their families on cyber safe practices. She launched the company DIGISAFE India alongside other experts who work towards protecting young adults from cyber crime and digital addiction, via education and timely interventions.

1. Update your devices regularly

Turn on automatic updates for your software and devices – these notifications exist to keep you up to date on the latest security. To get started, check out these top tips for protecting yourself online and how to update your devices. You might also want to take this short quiz to assess how cyber secure you are.

2. Turn on multi-factor authentication

When studying or working online, remember to keep your platforms safe by using Deakin’s Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), secure passwords and/or by locking your computer if you step away momentarily. These actions are all really easy to do and add another layer of protection to your accounts.

3. Back up your important files

By regularly backing up your important documents, you can safeguard your information and avoid any data-recovery dramas should anything go wrong. Learn more about setting up and performing regular backups and see this advice about how to keep your important files safe.

4. Use passphrases and password managers

Don’t compromise your accounts by re-using passphrases (passwords that use four or more random words) and passwords – it’s like giving hackers a key to all your accounts! Use a password manager to help you create and store strong, unique passwords. Generally speaking, passphrases are better than passwords you dream up yourself, as they’re hard to guess but easy to remember.  

Want more information?

And please remember: don’t be embarrassed to report any suspicious activity – your experience may help prevent someone else from being scammed and stop cyber criminals in their tracks. 

back to top