Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
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Cybercrime hits more Aussies with even more impact

A recent reports from Norton suggests cybercriminals are targeting more Australians than ever with some staggering losses. What’s going on in 2021?

We don’t need to tell you how frequent scams are getting, as criminals ramp up their own business activity and look to make money out of you in the worst possible ways. Scams and security threads aplenty, it seems, as more emails, text messages, and even QR codes encroach upon our lives, all to get people doing the dodgy a little bit more money that we could all do with keeping.

If it seems like every week we’re writing a security story, it’s because we are, and there’s a pretty serious indicator as to why: the number of attempts are ramping up. Not just to us, but everyone, with recent numbers from Norton noting that around 37 percent of Australians have experienced some form of cybercrime in the past year, with an estimated $3 billion lost in Australia alone.

The numbers come courtesy of Norton’s Cyber Safety Insights Report, which surveyed 10,000 adults across ten countries (roughly 1000 in each), with the details revealing more and more Aussies are aware of the precautions they need to take, but yet also many not being sure about how they protect themselves.

According to Norton’s numbers, around 23 percent of Australians were victim to a scam in the past year, and nearly half don’t know how to protect themselves from it. Nearly 90 percent of Aussies are concerned about their data privacy, and 8 in 10 have takesteps to protect their online life, with stronger passwords and sharing less on social media both actions taken to make that happen.

However the stats also show that more people feel vulnerable online because of the pandemic, thanks in part to how much time everyone is spending online. As such, 70 percent of Australians are taking more precautions online, with nearly 80 percent believing the work from home world is making it easier for cybercriminals to take advantage of people.

“We’ve been incredibly fortunate in Australia that our lives have almost returned to normal. However, some behaviours we adopted in 2020 will likely remain and cybercriminals have quickly learned to exploit the increased online activity,” said Mark Gorrie, Senior Director for NortonLifeLock in Asia Pacific.

“As we adapt to the post-pandemic world, companies and individuals in particular will have a greater responsibility to ensure the proper protections are in place to fight evolving cybercriminals,” he said. “Cybercriminals have taken advantage of our changing behaviors and increased digital footprint.”

The numbers mean Australians (and indeed others around the world) may need to step up just how much they do to protect themselves from online, even though the average time spent dealing with online nefarious activities has gone up in the past year, doubling effectively from four hours to roughly eight.

With more of us dealing with criminal attempts on our digital life, and over 7 million Australians experiencing some form of cybercrime, it means educating ourselves and staying aware, and possibly looking into some form of security solution, may well be among the best efforts we have in dealing with the scourge of cybercrime.

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