You Need A Passphrase, Not A Password

If you’ve called DCSI recently to set up a new account or change the password on an old one, then you’ve probably already discovered we’ve changed our password rules. This has been an important change to ensure the security of your account.

If hackers are able to access your email, they can do all kinds of damage. They can send spam, causing your email address to be blacklisted and you may receive potentially thousands of bounced-back emails. They can use the “Forgotten Password” feature on many sites to access your accounts. They can potentially access your private emails. They can masquarade as you, and attempt to scam your contacts. No good can come of having a weak password that can allow unauthorised access to your account.

A short, uncomplicated password can be breached with alarming speed by professional hackers, but small changes increase the difficulty. Let’s take the example of using the name of your beloved old hound dog, Bingo, as your password.

According to, it would take hackers this long to crack your password:

bingo – instantly
bing0 – 2 milliseconds
Bing0 – 23 milliseconds
B!ng0 – 68 milliseconds
B!ng0. – 20 seconds
B!ng0.^ – 31 minutes
B!ng0.^&Q(k – 5 thousand years, and good luck remembering it.

Here’s a more memorable option:
Bingohounddog. – 66 million years.

Add in the year he was born.
Bingohounddog.2001 – 18 quadrillion years.

Good dog, Bingo! That’s the way to keep the family safe!

Any new service you set up with DCSI will require your password to meet the following rules:

* at least 8 characters long
* at least one UPPERCASE letter
* at least one lowercase letter
* at least one number
* at least one special character such as ?@!~;”(*+<^

Length is better security than complexity, so think about choosing a passphrase rather than a password. Our rules are a minimum, and every additional character you add will make your password stronger.

If you want to discuss or change your password to increase security, please give us a call on 1300 66 55 75

Simple Internet Security Measures

It seems like every day the news is full of stories about the latest hack, crack or cyber attack, but there are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself.


Your best line of defence is to ensure you have the latest updates for your system, as newly discovered vulnerabilities are patched all the time. Unsure how? Check Microsoft’s site for Windows updates, and Apple’s site for Mac updates.


There are many great products on the market that will protect your system from viruses, trojans and malware. Whichever one you select, make sure you keep it up-to-date. Look for comparison guides on reputable sites like tech blogs or magazines that are dated with the current year. Suggested search: BEST VIRUS SCANNER 2017


Windows XP was revolutionary in its day, but that was 2001 – 16 years ago. It was retired in 2009, and Microsoft stopped releasing security updates for the most part in 2014. You may still be using it out of habit, preference, or because upgrading your system is out of your budget. These are all valid reasons to want to keep using XP, but ask yourself if this computer really needs to be connected to the internet given the risks. A current O/S will receive regular security updates to patch vunerabilities are they are discovered.


If you’re going about your business on the net and a message pops up telling you your computer is vunerable or compromised and to call a number to fix it, just close and ignore it. It’s a pop-up ad, not a real notification of a problem with your computer. The scammers on the other end of the line will charge you hundreds, and may even install malware on your machine. In general, anything that pops-up should be treated with suspicion.


Don’t open attachments or follow links in emails from people you don’t know. Exercise caution in opening attachments or following links in emails from people you do know – if it seems odd or out of character, contact them and ask if they sent it to you. If companies you do business with send you unexpected messages, stop and look for clues that might give it away as a scam, like links to websites you wouldn’t associate with the business. When in doubt, look up contact details for the business and ask them if the message is genuine.


It’s such a nuisance to keep track of different passwords for every thing you do online, but it’s quite important to make sure you don’t reuse the same password. Hackers have been known to hack one site and steal the username/email address/password combinations, and then sell that list to other hackers. You can’t trust every site to have perfect security.


A good password is long, uses a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols, doesn’t contain your name or other details people can easily guess, and is memorable to you. This can be hard to achieve! A simpler way can be to use a password manager to remember all your passwords for you.


If something seems iffy, don’t just put your trust in it. Your computer-savvy friend, family member or colleague might be able to give you some good advice. If you’re lacking a handy guru, reach out to a computer professional like a local computer shop or technician, or ask your ISP.