Online safety


You’ve probably heard about a number of online scares recently: logins stolen from Yahoo, ‘secure’ wifi that isn’t so secure after all, email scams that are more sophisticated by the day. Don’t let these scares put you off the benefits of being online.

If you’re alert and aware you can avoid the problems.

Below are some tips for a couple of recent issues. Want to know more? Join us for a Summer School session on STAYING SAFE IN CYBERSPACE, 1-3pm on 16 January.


KRACK (or Key Reinstallation Attack) is a security flaw in all modern protected wifi networks. This flaw allows an attacker to break the encryption between the wifi router and a device (computer, phone, etc) so that they could read transmissions and/or upload malware.

What should you do to protect yourself?

  1. Install updates (patches) to your operating system on ALL devices – better still, install updates automatically. Fixes for the issue have been made on Windows and Linux, and will come soon for Apple devices. Android devices are more vulnerable and may take longer to be patched …
  2. Be wary of public wifi since an attacker needs to be nearby to eavesdrop and public wifi offers many more opportunities.
  3. Use secure sites (https rather than http) as these encrypt transmissions.
  4. Note that wifi connected devices such as security cameras may take a long time to be patched, but still need it.


Be alert. If you get an email or phone call you suspect is not genuine:

Verify –Check using contact details you get from a phone book or independent online search.

Avoid clicking links – before clicking, hover your computer mouse over the URL (web link) and the 'from' email address:

  • If an email address doesn’t end with the company’s name and .com after the ‘@’ symbol, it’s likely to be a scam.
  • If a URL is different from the link description, it is probably a scam.
  • Take your time – many scams will try to create a sense of urgency. Don’t be rushed into handing over your personal information.

    Consider your privacy - Only provide information such as Medicare numbers and credit card security codes to organisations you can trust. Requests for private data should ring alarm bells.

    Report - If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your financial institution immediately.


     Key Reinstallation Attacks: Breaking WPA2 by forcing nonce reuse (original KRACK notification) https://www.krackattacks.com/

    Australian Government Stay Smart Online - Watch out for scammers when going online https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/news/watch-out-for-scammers-when-going-online

    Australian Government Stay Smart Online - Phishing https://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/protect-yourself/recover-when-things-go-wrong/phishing

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