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"you have secure mail from Centrelink"
so you have to spend ages logging on....


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12 replies to this topic

#1 mum850

Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:28 PM

Is it just me?
Every not so many months I get an email telling me I have secure email from Centrelink. I only get child care rebate so it's usually a summary of what I've been paid. But occasionally it says things I really need to know, like, get your kid immunised or else; or maybe you should tell us your kid  is going to school now, etc.
Meaning, I am not relaxed enough about it being boring to NOT read such a letter.
So then I have to faff around finding the centrelink site, not the australia.gov site thanks, remembering my CAN which I only need 4 times a year, remembering my password which I forgot already cos I had to change it all the other times I forgot it, then put in my mother's maiden name and my husband's dogs name and the name of my firstborn child's last kindergarten teacher,  yadda yadda yadda, and then FINALLY I get to read my letter.

Could they not.. just.. email me the letter?

What do you think?

(I have sent myself a very unsecure email with my CAN and password now. So  it's not safer than an emailed letter cos if anyone hacked into my email account and was looking for a letter about my child care rebate, goodness knows why, there it is.)


#2 aprilrain

Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:36 PM

I always feel stressed when one of these pops up in my email.  I think I'd rather be environmentally unfriendly and get a paper letter.

#3 Jax12

Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:39 PM

laugh.gif Ahhh, so glad it's not just me then. I have also sent myself a very unsecure email with my CAN and password. I rarely need to log in to the website but when I did and couldn't get my details right it was an exercise in torture. I get my notifications by SMS so the process doesn't seem as redundant as an email notifying you.

I can certainly see why Centrelink would need to cover their arses with how they distribute important information, but for people like you and me it's certainly a pain in the backside!

#4 darcswan

Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:42 PM

It's funny.... Most big organisations have these compliance officers who are sooo risk adverse when it comes to the internet.  I find it bizarre that information they happily send via post cannot be sent via email (likewise emails with scanned documents are unacceptable, while faxes are ok!)

I've spent many meetings arguing passionately with compliance officers about this very thing (not at centrelink).

Anyway, the justification within the organisation is:
- Privacy breach, should the email be intercepted
- Potential for someone to steal your identity using the info contained within.
- Middle man attack - where someone changes the content of the email before you reach it, opening up all sorts of security issues.

BTB, this sort of thing shows just how the government often fails at being customer-centric.  You just know in the background, someone met a KPI to reduce postage costs by using online services... And how everyone patted themselves on the back about providing great online functionality.  Completely forgetting that most people don't interact very often with government agencies and have better things to think about than yet another unique username and password!

Edited by darcswan, 30 January 2013 - 10:45 PM.


#5 Emby

Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:50 PM

I've never gotten an email from Centerlink. Stuff always comes by post. And I do have a password and everything - even got myself an australia.gov one one time (I think that was a mistake - now I can't even remember my username let alone my password and it doesn't want me to log in any other way. So I seem to be totally locked out of the site till I can be bothered getting on the phone to ask how I fix it which, frankly, I can't)

So you've probably got a setting somewhere that says "please send me stuff by email". If you're really lucky it might be somewhere where you can access it and turn it off.

#6 aprilrain

Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:50 PM

QUOTE (darcswan @ 30/01/2013, 10:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's funny.... Most big organisations have these compliance officers who are sooo risk adverse when it comes to the internet. I find it bizarre that information they happily send via post cannot be sent via email (likewise emails with scanned documents are unacceptable, while faxes are ok!)

I've spent many meetings arguing passionately with compliance officers about this very thing (not at centrelink).

Anyway, the justification within the organisation is:
- Privacy breach, should the email be intercepted
- Potential for someone to steal your identity using the info contained within.
- Middle man attack - where someone changes the content of the email before you reach it, opening up all sorts of security issues.

BTB, this sort of thing shows just how the government often fails at being customer-centric. You just know in the background, someone met a KPI to reduce postage costs by using online services... And how everyone patted themselves on the back about providing great online functionality. Completely forgetting that most people don't interact very often with government agencies and have better things to think about than yet another unique username and password!



'Middle man attack' ohmy.gif Wow!! I had no idea these things were possible. It makes sense as somebody could potentially get a lot of info about you fraudulently. I've always wondered how people manage to sell somebody elses house amd those sort of major frauds.


edited for weird spelling

Edited by aprilrain, 30 January 2013 - 10:52 PM.


#7 mum850

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:03 PM

I am really pleased by the idea of "middle man attack".... though I think I am confusing it with middle manager attack LOL

#8 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:16 PM

I find it funny that its easier to access my netbank than the centrelink page, or my Uni records!

#9 Expelliarmus

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:22 PM

QUOTE (Emby @ 30/01/2013, 11:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've never gotten an email from Centerlink. Stuff always comes by post. And I do have a password and everything - even got myself an australia.gov one one time (I think that was a mistake - now I can't even remember my username let alone my password and it doesn't want me to log in any other way. So I seem to be totally locked out of the site till I can be bothered getting on the phone to ask how I fix it which, frankly, I can't)

So you've probably got a setting somewhere that says "please send me stuff by email". If you're really lucky it might be somewhere where you can access it and turn it off.

IIRC you can't change it back, it was non optional and I just had to deal with it.

And yes, add me to the list! I would get the annual update your income letter or one that told me I was getting some sort of bribery payment and have to login to read it and it was like cracking fort knox.

I also have an unsecure email with the details in it ... wwhistle.gif

But no more! Our income finally became too high and they have stopped hounding me to update things and answer their questions! Woot!

#10 fizzy19

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:44 PM

If you have an android phone go to playstore and download the app Express Plus Families. It is centrelinks app and you can access all letters, payments, child care details etc, all with a 4 digit pin once you set it up.  I find its really good.

#11 Coffeegirl

Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:49 AM

I'm with OP.  I get maybe 3 letters a year from Centrelink. Thankfully all by post.

Their login process is stupidly long.   Too many questions.  If you forgot your password, well you might as well give up, because the question/answer thing is so exacting (must have right upper/lower case, don't add an extra space etc).

Google's gmail password recovery is just as bad.   10 questions that you don't even remember asking in the first place, only to be locked out and told to ring a 1800 number in the US.

Yet I can login to ANZ with my acct number and a pasword that I chose myself.  Oh and only 6 digits long!  Not 10 including upoercase letters and numbers too!

#12 Floral Arrangement

Posted 31 January 2013 - 11:30 AM

The app (for my smartphone) is fantastic and takes seconds to check letters etc much better than stressing and going online to check what it's about. There sms's always seem to come late at night so difficult to start up laptop to check.

#13 Aribika

Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:00 PM

So glad I'm not the only one.  

Lorraine




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