You know that uneasy feeling in the back of your mind as you’re about to buy something on a site for the first time? It’s the one you get when you’re not sure if it’s legit. What if it isn’t?

That. Would. Not. Be. Good.

One way to double-check before keying-in your card details is to look up the website itself. You want to make sure it wasn’t just made yesterday, last week or last month. Here’s how:

Looking up a website using a Whois service

There are a number of ‘Whois’ sites out there to look up an internet domain or IP address. Here’s a good one: whois.com/whois.

 

If you key-in the Sorted website, for instance, you can easily see how long we’ve been New Zealand’s independent, impartial source for personal finance information.

 

Sorted has been registered since April 2001, and next year will be our 20th anniversary.

Now this is actually a quick, easy way to double-check suspicious websites. Many look like the real thing, but these days even fully functional fakes can be bought on the dark web and set up quickly by fraudsters. It doesn’t hurt to check.

The scammy ones have usually been set up recently, so by checking the registered date you can avoid the wolves digitally dressed in sheep’s clothing. Skip any sites that haven’t been around long.

Where to report your cyber issues

When you come across something suspicious in the cyber world, be sure to report it to CERT NZ. That’s the government agency that helps us identify cyber security issues and get through when things go pear-shaped.

Keen to find out more about getting cyber smart?

As part of Cyber Smart Week 2020, CERT recommends four ways to step up your defence online:

  1. Use a password manager. We all know that passwords need to be complex enough to protect us, but keeping track of them all is a challenge. We need a vault, which is what a password manager is, keeping them all safe.
  2. Turn on 2FA. Two-factor authentication ­– where you enter a temporary code from a phone app as well as a password – adds that extra layer of safety.
  3. Update your devices. All those annoying updates don’t just get you the latest bells and whistles, they fix the latest bugs and security holes, too. Making your updates automatic helps.
  4. Check your privacy. Lock down your social media, and every time you’re asked for your personal details, double-check it’s legit.

 Find out more at cert.govt.nz/cybersmart.

 

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