The NSW Government’s nation-leading unit for support in the face of identity crime is encouraging people across the State to use stronger passwords that would take identity thieves trillions of years to break.
NSW Chief Information and Digital Officer Greg Wells said ID Support NSW was reminding customers they can keep their personal information secure by making passwords harder to crack.
“While we are a modern and customer centric government committed to making life easier for the people of NSW, we are also supportive of making life harder for hackers,” Mr Wells said.
“A hacker can break a password in just two seconds if it is seven characters long and doesn’t use any numbers or special characters, while a password which is 18 characters long and uses a mix of numbers, symbols, upper and lower-case letters would take 438 trillion years to break.
“By simply making a password longer and adding more numbers and special characters, a person can greatly improve the protection of their most important information including emails, bank accounts and social media accounts.”
NSW Chief Information and Digital Officer Greg Wells said people should update passwords every few months, never share the password and refrain from sharing personal information which could be used to answer security questions.
“Sharing stories about your first car ‘Betty the Barina’ for social media quizzes may seem innocent enough but these questions are designed to capture common answers to security questions,” Mr Wells said.
“Passwords are the first line of defence against cyber criminals but unfortunately they are too often overlooked.
“Security breaches and cybercrimes are becoming increasingly more sophisticated, costing Australians millions in damages and hours spent remediating their identity.
“ID Support NSW will be there for victims of identity crime when they are seeking help to recover Government documents such as their driver licence and birth certificate, but effortless changes like making your password more complex may protect you from ever needing the service.”