Optus Breach Data: How to Update Your InformationOctober 5, 2022 4:27 am
This is what you can do if your information was stolen during the Optus data breach.
If you are concerned about identity theft, there are several steps you can take to update some personal information.
How to change your driver’s licence
Optus requires customers to provide their driver’s licence number as proof of identity when signing up for a mobile or internet plan.
More recently, Optus has also asked for the driver’s licence card number – that is a number located on the back of your licence – as additional verification.
All States and Territories have announced they will provide new licence cards for people affected by the Optus data breach. You are required to provide evidence that you have been affected, such as direct communication from Optus in the form of a notification email.
Replacement card fees will either be waived or can be covered by Optus, who has said they will pay for replacement cards. Optus will provide advice on how the reimbursement process occurs.
As there are differing methods in each State or Territory, it is important to pay close attention to your relevant Government instructions.
New South Wales – The NSW Government is working with Optus to provide assistance for impacted customers that have been notified of a data breach.
If Optus has contacted you, you can replace your driver’s licence online through Service NSW, in person at any Service Centre, or over the phone on 13 77 88. You will have to pay an upfront replacement fee which can be reimbursed by Optus.
Queensland – The QLD Government will replace driver’s licences free of charge. You will have to visit a Transport and Main Roads customer service centre with proof of communication by Optus. You can phone them on a dedicated priority hotline for additional information on 07 3097 3108.
How to change your passport
If you have used your passport as proof of identity with Optus, the good news is that no one can travel using those leaked details. However, the information can still be used for identity theft.
If you are interested in cancelling or replacing your passport, more information is available online via the Australian Government’s Australian Passport Office website. You can also replace a passport by:
- Accessing the online passport replacement portal
- Picking up a replacement form your Australia Post outlet
- Contacting a relevant Australian diplomatic or consular mission
Currently Optus is not covering the cost of replacing passports, which is $193. Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong has written to Optus requesting they pay for replacement customer passports.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also says the Government is clear that taxpayers should not have to “pick up the bill here”.
It is also possible that Optus will cover the replacement fees if asked, although no confirmation has been given by the telecommunications provider as of yet.
How to change your Medicare card
Please be assured that people cannot access your Medicare details with just your Medicare number. If you are concerned or have been affected, you can replace your Medicare card as advised by Services Australia.
Although your Medicare details cannot be accessed, it is possible that the information can be used for identity theft.
Several options are available if you want to replace your Medicare card, including:
- Phoning the Medicare program on 13 20 11
- Using Medicare online via MyGov
- Using your Express Plus Medicare mobile app
If you believe your Medicare card has been used for identity theft or is related to a scam, you can also call Services Australia’s Scams and Identity Theft Help Desk on 1800 941 126.
Update important passwords
Some of the details taken by the hacker could be used to get into important accounts, like your bank accounts or other financial related services.
It is vital that you update these passwords to more secure options, especially if you use any combination of a birthday or address in your password.
It is also recommended that you reinforce existing accounts with an updated password or multi-factor authentication where possible.
For a strong password, you can create a password using letters, numbers and symbols. For example, ‘shoebox’ becomes ‘$ho3b*x’.