Cyber-attacks, and the release of information that such attacks glean, is incredibly topical at the moment. These attacks have the ability to disclose a company's sensitive information, derail a nation's security and potentially affect the outcome of a certain presidential election.  Cyber-attacks on New Zealand computers and networks have more than doubled in the last five years, which follows a global trend. 

It's not just governments and businesses that are affected (or high-profile politicians, for that matter): every-day Kiwis are the victims of cyber crime too. According to John Key, over 850,000 Kiwis are affected by cyber crime each year. So what can be done to keep yourself safe online? Measures include: 

- keeping your computer safe by ensuring that the latest patches and updates are installed and that it is configured securely;

- choosing strong passwords that vary from site-to-site, and keep these safe; and

- exercise caution when sharing personal information online: be aware of what a phishing email might look like, take care when providing payment information or personal details to anyone either via email or through a website and pay attention to the privacy policies of the sites to which you submit personal information.