Reverse the threat of cyber-crime

4 October 2019

This Stay Smart Online Week, take control of your online identity.

This week is Stay Smart Online Week. It’s a great time to think about how you can protect your personal information and stay safe online.

1 in 5 Australians have experienced identity theft. Victims of identity crime can spend a lot of time, money and emotion recovering from damage caused by cyber-criminals.

If a scammer steals your identity, they can:

  • set up accounts in your name without your permission
  • impersonate you online
  • use your credit card.

Identity theft and cyber-crime is a big problem. But there are steps you can take to protect yourself online and reverse the threat.

Keep strong password habits

If you use the same password across your online accounts, you’re at risk of being hacked.

Always use strong passwords, change them often and don’t reuse them.

Welike2holidayonthem00n! is an example of a strong password. It’s longer than a typical password and easy to remember.

Don’t use your personal details to create passwords. These passwords are easy for scammers to crack, especially if this information is on your social media accounts.

Use Two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is an extra step on top of your password. It makes it harder for others to access your accounts and personal information.

The most common example of two-factor authentication is using a security code sent by SMS to your mobile phone.

Read more about myGov security codes on the myGov website.

Be wary of fake emails

Scammers may send fake emails to your personal email address claiming to be from us. Don’t click on any links or attachments in these emails. The links may direct you to a fake website. The attachments may contain viruses that give scammers direct access to your computer and your personal information.

To check you’re on a real government website:

  • type the URL into your browser – for example when you type and the page loads, https:// will appear at the front
  • check the address ends in
  • look for a closed padlock or unbroken key icon at the bottom right corner of your browser window.

Check your privacy settings

The internet is great for socialising and staying in touch with friends and family. But sharing too much personal information can put your identity at risk.

It’s a good idea to always check your privacy settings on social media. You should be careful about sharing your:

  • mobile phone number
  • date of birth
  • bank account details
  • email addresses
  • passwords.

Ask us for help

Contact us if you think you’ve been scammed or your identity is at risk. You can call or email our Scams and Identity Theft Helpdesk to report Centrelink, myGov, Medicare or Child Support scams. Our helpdesk is open Monday to Friday 8 am – 5 pm.

Reporting scams and identity theft can help stop others from falling victim.

Your identity is an important asset to value and protect. Treat your personal information like you would treat your wallet. Don’t leave it lying around for others to take.

For more information, visit Stay Smart Online’s official website.

Read more about how we manage scams and identity theft.

Page last updated: 24 February 2020