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Stay safe online

There are ways to avoid viruses and abuse while browsing the internet. Find out about safe web use, and how to report online abuse.

Viruses and where they come from

A computer virus damages or takes control of your computer.

  • They can delete files, damage your hard drive and steal personal information.
  • They can spread via emails, often as an attachment or link.
  • They can spread via your internet connection.
  • They can travel across networks looking for computers without virus protection.

Know when your computer has a virus

  • Files on your computer may go missing.
  • Files appear to be full of numbers.
  • The computer crashes and restarts often.
  • Your internet speed may become very slow.
  • There may also be no sign of a virus, even though it's in your computer.

Protect your computer

  • Install antivirus software and a firewall and keep it up to date.
  • The Spark Security Suite uses McAfee software to protect your computer. Find out more
  • Keep your software updated. Make sure you install updates when your system (eg, Microsoft Windows or Apple) prompts you to do so.

Protect yourself and others

  • Netsafe offers up-to-date advice about staying safe online. Visit netsafe.org.nz
  • You can set parental controls to monitor what your family can do online. Find out more

Tips to stay safe online

  • Be cautious about giving out your personal information over the internet.
  • Don't give out your full name online. Use a nickname instead.
  • Check the security policies of online shopping websites.
  • Use chat sites or forums that have a moderator. Moderators are able to remove people who cause problems in the forum.
  • Beware of trolls. They are people who will go out of their way to try to get an angry reaction out of others on the internet. Don't engage with them.
  • Report spam, online abuse, see more information below.

Report security breaches, abuse and possible attacks

Let us know if you're experiencing any abuse or security issues on our network. Follow the instructions that relate to your issue below. Make sure you include the correct time of the abuse in any information you send us.

When you report spam or abuse, such as denial of service attacks, include as much information as you can, such as:

  • Full email headers
  • Copies of emails, chats or malicious posts
  • Dates and times that the events occurred.
  • For abuse via chat: time, text, IP address, server and/or channel.
  • To report hacking attempts, or similar activities, include:
    • An excerpt of the log files showing incidents.
    • The offending IP address.
    • The date, time and time zone.
    • The source/destination ports.
    • Any other relevant details.

Send the details to: security@xtra.co.nz

Complaints about other networks

We can't investigate complaints that are about another network. Send these issues to the user and their network provider.

We take action against offending customers of Spark under our terms and conditions. See terms and conditions

You could also lay a complaint with the police. For cases of abuse that don't fall into the cases above, contact us.

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