Cost Of Cybercrime Declines In Australia

A new report out by cyber security specialist, Symantec, titled, the 2013 Norton Report  claims that the cost of cybercrime in this country is just over $1 billion, with the number of Australian victims reaching 5 million. The report also revealed that Australians are still taking major risks online when it comes to utilising mobile devices and social media.

 

A new report out by cyber security specialist, Symantec, titled, the 2013 Norton Report  claims that the cost of cybercrime in this country is just over $1 billion, with the number of Australian victims reaching 5 million. The report also revealed that Australians are still taking major risks online when it comes to utilising mobile devices and social media.

 

“Globally the cost of cybercrime has risen but in Australia we have seen a decline when compared to the $1.65bn recorded last year,” said Brenton Smith, Vice President and Managing Director, Pacific region, Symantec. “We believe this is due to cybercriminals shifting tactics, perhaps as Australians become more aware of scams. Cyber criminals also use tactics where there is a lower cost per head to victims, as they believe scams like these have a higher chance of escaping notice. Although the number of victims remains static, they are clearly still making money from online fraud.”

 

One area where Australians need to improve their awareness of cyber criminal activity is smartphone usage. The report says 32 percent of Australian smartphone users having experienced mobile cybercrime in the past 12 months.

 

The report also revealed that 57 percent of Australian mobile device users aren’t aware that security solutions for mobile devices exist, highlighting that there is still a long way to go in educating Australians about the importance of protecting their information and identities across all connected devices. Securing mobile devices is important as 21 percent of adults have lost their mobile device or had it stolen putting their digital identities at risk.

 

Social media has also been an issue, even though it has been part of the Australian technological landscape for half a decade. Almost one third (30 percent) of the surveyed participants connect with people they do not know and one in four (25 percent) share their social media passwords with others as well. Oversharing of information can create a significant risk and they need to be vigilant.

 

Casual use of wifi can also cause problems. The report stated that 44 percent of Australian wifi users access or send personal emails on public or unsecure wifi, showing that Australians have a lack of awareness of the dangers associated with sharing and connecting to unprotected internet connections.

 

Other findings of the survey included:

  • The average direct cost per cybercrime in Australia was AU$201 (US$187) in 2013 compared to AU$306 (US$317) in 2012
  • 46 percent of Australian adults have experienced cybercrime in the past 12 months
  • Nearly 50 percent of working adults in Australia use their personal device for both work and play
  • 55 percent of online file storage users think that online file storage is safe

 

Safety tips include:

  • Defend Your Data: Install a comprehensive security suite for all devices and regularly update your security patches for all devices
  • Be Aware of Device Policies for Work: Understand the rules and policies around using your personal devices at work and vice versa
  • Be Cautious in the Cloud: While cloud solutions make it easier to save and share files, be careful who can access them and what information is shared
  • Share Personal Information on a Secure Connection: Take care with sharing personal information through the Internet, unless it is a secure connection. Always check for “https” in the web address
  • After You Connect, Double Check: Check your credit card and bank statements regularly for any suspicious transactions and report them to your service provider, your financial institution and the police
  • Have a Strong Password: Use  strong passwords for all devices and change them regularly
  • Protect Your Social Network: Take a moment to check your privacy settings on all your social media accounts and where possible install two factor authentication.

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