Community urged to use strong passwords to protect their information online

May 12, 2024 BY

The Victorian government's cyber security campaign advises the community to follow six simple steps to protect their information online, including using passphrases and turning of multi-factor authentication. Photo: SUPPLIED

THE Victorian government has this month launched a new campaign to encourage community members to strengthen their passwords in the wake of increasing reports of cybercrime.

Reports of cybercrime submitted to ReportCyber, an online reporting platform operated by the Australian Cyber Security Centre, totalled 94,000 in the financial year ending June 2023.

This equates, on average, to a report every six minutes and an increase in cybercrime reports of 23 per cent compared to the previous financial year.

Launched to coincide with World Password Day on May 1, the state government’s ‘Will your password pass the test of time?’ campaign aims to help people increase the safety of their information online and avoid using weak passwords that are able to be hacked in seconds by cybercriminals.

“Cyber safety has never been more important, and creating strong passwords is a simple thing every Victorian can do to stay safe online,” government services minister Gabrielle Williams said.

As part of the campaign, the community is advised to take six steps to protect themselves online. They are:

Use passphrases

Use a different password for each account

Make passwords harder to guess by avoiding predictable words

Use a password manager

Update passwords when required, and

Turn on multi-factor authentication

New password safety tools, including a password strength tester and generator, have been released alongside the campaign and can be accessed through either the Service Victoria app or website.

These tools can be used to test the strength of a password and to also generate suggested strong passphrases that are both unique and random.

Ms Williams encouraged the community to test out the new tools and said they are “safe, secure and easy to use”.

Use of the tools is anonymous, and no information on users is collected, tracked or stored.

For more information, or to test the strength of your passwords, head to vic.gov.au/stay-safe-online

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