Identity fraud is the world’s fastest growing crime, and with 1.4 billion Australian dollars being lost to personal fraud last year[i] it’s not something Aussies can afford to turn a blind eye to. Last week was the sixth annual National Identity Fraud Awareness Week – a campaign designed to protect you from personal and corporate fraud.
Emails, smartphones and online banking have made our lives a lot easier, but they’ve also left us more open to identity theft than ever before. With a few simple precautions, you can continue to enjoy the convenience of technology without putting your identity and finances at risk.
Avoid predictable passwords
SplashData[ii] releases an annual list of the most popular (and therefore worst) internet passwords, and the list is shockingly predictable. Variations on the word ‘password’, patterns and sequential combinations such as ‘123456’ or ‘qwerty’ all top the list and should be avoided.
More personal passwords, such as pet’s names or birthdates of loved ones, are generally the next stop for hackers trying to crack passwords.
Keep confidential information secure
Keeping a word document entitled ‘passwords’, storing passwords under a bank’s name in your mobile phone address book and carrying your TFN, birth certificate or bank PIN in your wallet are all examples of common – and therefore unsafe – storage methods that will leave you at risk.
Perform regular audits
One of the advantages of online banking is that you have real-time access to how much money is coming in and out of your account. Check your accounts regularly and, if you notice transactions you didn’t approve, contact your bank immediately.
An annual credit check will ensure there have been no major changes to your credit rating, which could alert you to accounts being opened under your name without your consent.
Ensure your financial institution is dedicated to security
First and foremost, you should be offered an online login that is different to your bank account number. Look out for the padlock icon in your browser, which indicates that you’re working in a secure session, and be wary if you’re asked to download software. More tips for stopping sneaky thieves stealing your ID
The RaboDirect Digipass adds an extra veil of security to these other must-haves. When accessing your online banking, you will need your customer number, personal pin and the one-time access code generated on your Digipass. How our digipass helps to keep your account secure.
Keep your identity safe by consistently following these simple guidelines and contact RaboDirect if you have any questions about how we’re keeping your information secure.
[i]Source: www.abs.gov.au [ii]Source: http://splashdata.com/splashid/worst-passwords/