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How safe is my password?

5 October 2018

Be honest – how many of your online accounts can be entered by typing in the following: Password? Qwerty? 123456? Your pet’s name? Your birthday?

If these passwords sound familiar - update today! Software exists that can guess billions of passwords a second. As the first line of defence to protecting your accounts from cybercriminals, think of your password like a key – instead of unlocking a door, it unlocks your online life.

This Stay Smart Online Week, we are asking you to join in and help reverse the threat of cybercrime by taking a few simple actions like creating strong passwords. Here are our tops tips to creating strong passwords.

  • A long password is a strong password: Develop a long password or passphrase made up of at least four words and at least twelve characters in length, such as ‘horsecupstarshoe’. Pick words that are meaningful to you so it is easy to remember.
  • Do not use repeated or sequential characters: Don't use the same characters (for example 999) or obvious sequences (such as 12345 or qwerty).
  • Do not use predictable information: Never include your date of birth, name or any other identifiable information in your passwords.
  • Use a different password for every account: Otherwise if a cybercriminal gets hold of your password, they could access all of your accounts.
  • Never share your password with anyone: Your passwords belong to you – never share them with anyone, not even your partner, parents or children.
  • Use a reputable password manager to store complex passwords: Remembering lots of unique, complex passwords can be hard. A password manager can make this easier by generating strong passwords, remembering these passwords and syncing them across devices.

For more information on how to reverse the threat of cybercrime and stay smart online, please visit www.staysmartonline.gov.au/reversethethreat.