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Australian Government - Office of the Australian Information Commissioner - Home

Recent online security incidents

In the last week, there have been reports of two high profile incidents involving people’s personal information becoming available online. Incidents of this nature highlight the importance of managing and protecting the security of personal information, particularly in the online environment.

There are a number of simple ways to protect yourself online:

  • Always use strong passwords
  • If you have concerns about the security of your password, you should change it immediately
  • Do not reuse passwords for different services
  • Beware of third party client apps
  • Always ask why information is being collected, and what it will be used for
  • Read privacy policies
  • Only give out as much personal information as you need to
  • When you do offer information online, choose reputable sites, apps and services you know and trust

For more information about the reported Snapchat and Dropbox incidents, visit Stay Smart Online. Stay Smart Online provide an Alerts service that you can subscribe to for free updates on potential online risks.


If you feel your privacy has been breached by an organisation covered by the Privacy Act 1988, you can make a complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).  Before you can lodge a complaint with the OAIC, you will generally need to complain directly to the organisation you are complaining about. If you do not receive a response within 30 days, or you are dissatisfied with the response, you may then complain to the OAIC.