The Chronicle: Be Cyber Smart

Imagine you bought a padlock to secure something you only needed for a few days.

Imagine that the little key that is used to open the padlock also opened your car, and your windows, and your office, and your front door. 

One key for everything doesn’t make a lot of security sense. So why do we do it for online passwords?

A malicious actor with your password has power. Your username and password works as an online identity, and there’s a lot of harm that can be done if yours is no longer your own.

We’re not sure how big the problem is here, but estimates of the impact of cybercrime on Australia’s economy range from $1 billion to $17 billion a year.

But the risk of cybercrime needn’t put you off exploring the online universe. It’s possible to enjoy the internet without leaving caution at the door. You can protect yourself online through a few simple steps.

Creating an account on most websites means creating a password. Considering how often we’re forced to enter and re-enter them, it’s tempting to use the same password for more than one site.

But if something were to ever go wrong, you don’t want the loss of one key to mean replacing every lock.

Use one unique password for each account, and you’ll be safer and more secure as a result. Your privacy is important – it deserves better than having one key for all padlocks.

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