26 June 2023

Digital Minister steers ID roadshow through the Riverina to combat identity theft

| Chris Roe
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three men and a woman talking

Minister Jihad Dib and Dr Joe McGirr meet staff at Service NSW in Wagga. Photo: Chris Roe.

NSW Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Jihad Dib was in Wagga on the weekend as ID Support NSW rolled into town for the final leg of its regional roadshow.

The roadshow provided Riverina residents with the opportunity to learn about the risks of identity theft and promoted the service that helps with replacing documents such as driver licences, photo cards and birth certificates if they are stolen.

“Cyber security doesn’t really have a border. The truth is you can be attacked anywhere,” Mr Dib said after touring Wagga’s service hub.

“What we do know is that people in regional towns may not have the same access to the information that they do in the urban areas and that’s why this ID Support service and this roadshow is so important.”

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Mr Dib said he had learned a great deal by joining the team at regional locations across the state, including Broken Hill, Dubbo and Griffith.

“I might be the Minister for Digital, but of course I had the chance to look at some of my personal accounts today,” he said.

“For example, everybody has WhatsApp, and the team was able to help me make sure that I had more privacy settings on my WhatsApp so that it wasn’t visible to everyone in the world, and to check my password strength.”

three men and a woman examining security technology

Krish Goundar from ID Support takes Minister Jihad Dib and Dr Joe McGirr through a check of their social media security. Photo: Chris Roe.

Member for Wagga Dr Joe McGirr joined the Minister at Service NSW and said he’d almost been caught out during the recent election campaign.

“I always thought this was something that happened to someone else, not to me,” Dr McGirr explained.

”Just before the election, I thought one of my accounts was in trouble and was going to get de-authorised.

“It was late at night and I wouldn’t say I panicked, but I certainly was fearful, so of course, I went on the internet and followed the links and just at the moment when I was going to give a piece of information away, I thought hang on, I gotta check this. So it can happen to anyone.”

Identity theft is on the rise globally and the roadshow aims to provide peace of mind by directing people whose identity has been compromised to a one-stop shop where staff can help restore documents and secure their identity.

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Krish Goundar from ID Support said the team had already met thousands of locals concerned about ID theft and online scams.

“We’ve had countless people that have approached us across this roadshow telling us firsthand the impacts that this has had on them, on their personal lives and people that they know,” he said.

“We’ve been able to help them connect with ID support and with my team on ways that they can strengthen their passwords and their settings and how to stop oversharing information.

“And in a handful of cases, we have actually sat down with people in local settings, such as libraries and in Service NSW centres, and helped them either regain or replace their identity documents or report it to authorities such as NSW Police or their financial institutions.”

Mr Dib said the roadshow was important to connect with communities and to highlight the fact that help was available.

“You can actually call ID support or you can go to any Service NSW centre or even at home. You just type into Google ‘ID support’, and it will come up and there’s some learning models there too,” he said.

“What I am learning more and more is that you’ve got to constantly adapt and constantly change because there is somebody out there somewhere who’s always trying to get into your personal information.”

You can learn more about ID Support here.

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