Passwords and PINs protect your personal information against unauthorised access. That’s why it’s so important to use strong combinations of letters, symbols and numbers to protect your privacy.
Passwords and PINs should be kept secret, difficult to guess and be more than 10 characters long. You should also use a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Also, try creating a unique password for each site to help protect your accounts in case your password is compromised.
Did you know that criminals use automated software that can guess thousands of passwords per minute? That’s why it’s important that you don’t use recognisable words or names in any language, repeated characters, personal information and anything you have previously used.
Make it memorable
A great way to remember your password is to think of a phrase and then change some of the characters to make it a strong password. For example: 'I like Australian red wine' can be modified to Ilike0zzieR3dwine. For more tips on remembering strong passwords, visit www.staysmartonline.gov.au.
The perfect PIN
Just like passwords, PINs need to be strong and unique to you. PINs should be a random mix of numbers, letters and characters. You should avoid using obvious patterns like 1234, postcodes, birthdays or other significant dates and numbers.
Use a password manager
Remembering all of your passwords or PINs can be tricky. That’s why installing a password manager could be an option. This handy piece of software generates and remembers secure passwords. However, one disadvantage is that if the password manager is breached, all your information is accessible.
What if your password is compromised?
The first step is to change your password for all sites or accounts where you use that password. Depending on the circumstances, you may also need to contact your financial institution or other services. If you believe your personal information has been put at risk, you can contact IDCare on 1300 432 273 or via www.idcare.org for support.