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A kid's guide to using the internet securely

Cat memes, fail videos, face filters – the internet is awesome! Unfortunately, not all internet users are as great. Some go online just to cause trouble and steal from others.

They’re called cybercriminals and they’re the reason we have to be careful whenever we use the internet. To help you, we’ve created this manual. It’s filled with handy hints you can use to level up your cyber security and stay secure online!

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), as part of the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), provides advice, assistance and operational responses to prevent, detect and remediate cyber threats to Australia. The ACSC is here to help make Australia the most secure place to connect online.

Characters

Meet the players involved when it comes to cyber security.

The Hero.

Awesome, brilliant, cool and funny. The cyber security hero is the person reading this right now. You!

With this manual, you have the power to beat any cyber threat
that comes your way. And you’re not alone, there are many
groups in Australia working to protect you online.

The hero - A guide for kids

The Australian Cyber Security Centre.

That’s us! The ACSC provides advice and information
about how to protect you and your family online.

We monitor cyber threats 24/7.

ACSC logo - A guide for kids

Scamwatch.

The Scamwatch team shows people how to recognise,
avoid and report scams.

Scams are dishonest or illegal plans used by cybercriminals
to attack unsuspecting victims.

Scamwatch logo - A guide for kids

eSafety Commissioner.

eSafety is Australia’s online safety regulator. Complaints
can be made to eSafety for the removal of harmful content.

eSafety also researches and provides evidence-based advice,
resources and programs to improve online safety skills.

eSafety commissioner logo - A guide for kids

The Cybercriminals.

Crims. Crooks. Con artists. These good-for-nothing thugs
use the internet to carry out their crimes.

There’s nothing they love more than infecting people’s devices,
spreading illegal files and stealing money!

The cybercriminal - A guide for kids

How to beat cyber threats

Step 1: Update your device

Updates give your device a security power-up!

Updates find and fix flaws in software that cybercriminals use to hack your device. They also add new features to your devices and can make them run faster.

Check out cyber.gov.au to learn how to install updates.

HINT: BEWARE! - Outdated software and apps can leave your device buggy and open to cyber attacks.

Step 2: Turn on multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) puts an extra shield around your account.

With MFA activated, you’ll need to give multiple types of information to access your account. For example, you may need a text message code and your password to log in. This means that even if a cybercriminal guesses or steals one part of your login details, you’ll still be protected by your extra shield!

Step 3: Back up your device

Backing up your device is like saving your progress in a game.

It makes a copy of your important files at that moment in time and puts them in a secure place. Having backups means you can restore your files if something goes wrong with your device.

Step 4: Use a passphrase

A passphrase is like a password but on expert level!

When you can’t turn on MFA, use a passphrase! A passphrase uses four or more random words as your password. This makes it hard for cybercriminals to guess and easy for you to remember.

For example, ‘purple duck boat sky’.

HINT: Using big words in your passphrase will make it even tougher!

Recognise and report scams

Beating cybercriminals takes teamwork.

If you receive a fishy email or message, report it to Scamwatch straight away. 

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Cybercriminals are crafty and might use a name and address you know, but follow your instinct. The faster you report the scam, the quicker we can act.

Go to Scamwatch and visit the Report page on our website.

Now that you’ve got cyber security smarts, you’re ready to log back on and enjoy the internet securely.

Just remember, cybercriminals are always coming up with new ways to target people online.

It never hurts to brush up on your cyber security know-how from time to time and learn new ways to stay secure.