Secure your devices
Te whakatatū i tētahi pūrere hou kia haumaru

Set up a new device securely

How to ensure a new mobile phone, tablet, laptop, PC or gaming device is set up securely.

Why it matters

When you get a new device, you need to take a few extra steps to make sure it's set up so it's as difficult as possible for a thief or an online attacker to get access to it.

How to protect yourself

Before you buy a new device, check online or ask the retailer how long that model will keep getting security updates. Older devices may not be supported for much longer, so they're at risk when new security issues come up.

Managing an older device

Clear your old device

If you’re planning to buy a replacement device, before you get rid of the old one:

  • back up the files from your old device
  • do a factory reset
  • check the data has been removed.

Install updates

  • Install any outstanding updates for the operating system on your new device. It might have been sitting on the shelf for a while.
  • Set the system preferences to update automatically. That way, any software updates you get will be installed automatically and will fix any known security holes in the software you’re using.

Keep up with your updates

Secure the device

  • Set a good password or passphrase on the device. As with all passwords, don’t use personal information like a family member’s date of birth, address or pet’s name.
  • Set your screen to lock automatically when you’re not using the device. Unlock it with:
    • a long password or pin number
    • a fingerprint, or
    • facial recognition.
  • Enable Bluetooth, WiFi and near field communication (NFC) only when you need it. If you’re using open or public WiFi, limit the information you share while using it.
  • Install an antivirus on your computer or laptop and keep it up to date.
  • Install an ad blocker on your browser. It can help prevent you clicking on any dodgy ads.

How to create good passwords

Take care with apps and software

  • Only download and install software from legitimate app stores and trusted websites.
  • Uninstall any old software or apps you don’t use or need anymore.
  • When downloading an app, think about the permissions it needs. If you’re downloading a calculator app, there should be no reason for it to have access to your messages or camera.

See our top tips for online security