Passwords and codes
Think of your security codes, PINs and passwords in the same way as physical keys. You keep your physical keys secure, so do the same with your passwords and codes. This includes login credentials and passwords for your work and personal computers.
If someone gets your passwords, they can easily pretend to be you. They can also change or create business accounts and social networking accounts in your name. If an identity thief gets access to your social networking account, they will also get access to your contacts.
Ask your bank if you can set up a PIN or password that you can use to provide your identity when talking to the bank on the phone. This will help to protect your banking information from thieves.
- Use a password that is easy for you to remember, but also hard to guess. For instance don’t use the name of your pet or family members.
- Have different passwords for each service or account, for instances email, internet banking or social networks.
- If you do have to write down your passwords or PINs, store them in a safe location separate from the thing that they are securing, and code them so only you know what they refer to. If you can memorise them, do – and shred, tear up or burn any note of the password or code.
- Never provide your PIN or password to someone that pretends to be helping out, like bank employees, customer service or others – either in person, on the phone or online.
- Make sure no one looks over your shoulder when you are entering your PIN in an ATM or EFTPOS machine.
- Shield your hand as you type the number in so that any hidden camera cannot see your PIN.
- Think of how you use payment cards, especially when overseas. Assess how safe it is to use it. If in doubt, use cash where you can.