Digital technology is an important part of how we connect. However, there are nuisances and risks, from spam to theft of personal information.

Netsafe New Zealand have produced a Staying Safe Online Guide to help people of all ages to navigate some of the risks and how to minimise these. The Staying Safe Online guide is available in English, Te Reo, Chinese, Tongan and Samoan.

Email Scams and Phishing

Phishing attempts often look or sound genuine because the scammer is impersonating a trusted organisation or person. Phishing emails are frequently not obvious and are becoming more difficult to spot as scammers become more sophisticated. These are some basic rules to help keep your self safe. (the rules are from Netsafe New Zealand)

  • Only open email attachments when you’re expecting them, even if you know who the sender is
  • Be cautious about emails asking you to update or verify your details online
  • Be cautious of emails saying you’ve won prizes from competitions that you don’t remember entering
  • Be cautious of emails that try to get you to act quickly by threatening you with legal action or loss of an account
  • Ignore any emails asking you to provide personal information like passwords, or banking information
  • Remember legitimate organisations like banks will never ask you to send them your password
  • If you’re unsure if an email is from a legitimate organisation, you can contact them to ask. If you do contact them, make sure you go through their official contact channels – don’t use the phone numbers, websites or email addresses included in the email
  • You can also try an internet search using the names or exact wording of the email to check for any references to a scam – many scams can be identified this way
  • If you’re still unsure if an email is legitimate you can contact Netsafe for advice


  • Ensure the anti-virus software on your device is active and up-to-date
  • Use an email provider that has good filtering for spam and other malicious emails
  • Use your anti-virus to scan any documents attached, or downloaded from emails before you open them
  • When opening a document from an email, if you’re prompted to “enable macros” or “run macros”, click no


If you believe that you may have been infected by malware

Prevention and Mitigation advice is from Cert NZ