Lockdown prompts rise in scammers and exploitation online, Netsafe warns

New Zealanders are being warned about an increase in online bullying and scams as more Kiwis take out their devices to stay connected, entertained and informed during the nationwide coronavirus lockdown. 

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Chief executive Martin Cocker says Kiwis should be extra vigilant with their internet activity. Source: Breakfast

Netsafe chief executive Martin Cocker says it's a time to be extra vigilant and to look out for each other.

"Lots of people in the community know how to use technology really well, and then there's lots of people who this sort of is a new experience for them." 

He says people who are experienced with technology should be looking to help those who are less confident by informing them about internet safety. 

"We want them talking to those who this is a new experience and saying this is how we deal with it, this is what we do and these are the agencies that can support you if something goes wrong." 

Mr Cocker says harmful online behviours from revenge porn to targeting children online have risen as more people are stuck inside their homes. 

"I guess people are locked in their homes so they're using the internet to try and harm other people where they might've used some more traditional ways in the past." 

Netsafe has reported rises in "just about every negative behavior" online as New Zealanders rely on the internet to stay in touch.