Telstra is putting Aussies on blast for their terrible passwords

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Telstra has unveiled its "password hall of shame", calling out the common password mistakes the majority of Australians are making. Most notably, a staggering 78% of us are reusing the same password across multiple accounts.

Additionally, almost half of Aussies admit to having weak passwords, using at least one of the following easy-to-guess elements:

  • Their pet's name (20%)
  • Generic passwords like "password", "123abc" and the like (13%)
  • Their favourite sports team (9%)
  • Their birthdate (17%)

Furthermore, 37% of respondents revealed they shared some of the same passwords with friends or family, including 18% who do so across more than one account.

"Your password is the first line of defence when it comes to your online safety so don’t make it easy for scammers to make you a target," warns Telstra Cyber Security Expert Darren Pauli.

"Criminals are relentless and will exploit Australians’ tendency to use the same password across multiple accounts. All it takes is one breach and multiple accounts can be compromised."

Password pro tips

With data breaches becoming all the more common in Australia and around the world, it's more important than ever to ensure your passwords are hard to guess (and therefore hard for hackers to brute force) and kept somewhere secure.

"Contrary to popular belief, your best bet is to use a unique and easy to remember passphrase including a few capitals or special characters," explains Pauli.

Longer passwords (or, more accurately, passphrases) take exponentially longer for hackers to crack, so instead of something short, complex and difficult to remember (like F4%@gHEp*, for example), try a quote from your favourite movie or TV show (e.g. MyEyes!TheGogglesDoNothing!).

Turning on multi-factor authentication is also a great way to add an extra layer of security, particularly to sensitive financial accounts.

Finally, for those who really struggle to remember passwords, password managers offer an easy way to create and store complex, unique passwords, allowing you access to all your accounts with a single master password.

Georgia Dixon
Written by
Georgia Dixon
Georgia Dixon has 10 years of experience writing about all things tech, entertainment and lifestyle. She has bylines on Reviews.org, 7NEWS, Stuff.co.nz and in TechLife magazine, and in 2023 she won Best News Writer at the Consensus IT awards. In her spare time, you'll find her playing games and daydreaming about good food, wine, and dogs.

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