As recently reported by the Australian online security watchdog. Australian citizens are reporting cybercrimes every 10 minutes. Since the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) launched its online security portal in July, it has received over 13,400 reported cases of cybercrimes.
Last Monday, the Australian Cyber Security Centre released survey results, which showed that on average, Australians lost $700 to cybercrimes. One of the most common types of cybercrime reported by Aussies is online fraud, especially phishing, where unsuspecting people would click on links in messages claimed to be from their bank and made to fill out their internet banking details.
Another reported form of cybercrime is dating scam, in which unsuspecting Aussies are duped by their supposed online dating partners who tricked them into transferring lots of money abroad. This was then followed closely by identity fraud, in which criminals opened accounts, especially bank accounts with other people’s names.
In terms of locations, the largest share of cybercrime was reported in Victoria, with Queensland and NSW closing up in the second and third places respectively. Australians residing in Northern Territories reported the least cases of cybercrimes.
More than two-thirds of Australians who reported being a victim of cybercrime were between the ages of 25 and 34. When surveyed, two out of every five Australians stated that they maintained the same password for most, if not all, of their online accounts. They claimed that their mostly used passwords are names of pets or names of family members.
Rachel Noble, the new head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), stated that all Aussies with connections to the internet are susceptible to a cyberattack. She said: “Though cybercrime threat is real, there is always something every Aussie can do about it.
According to Rachel Noble, some of the things Aussie can do include updating their browser software when possible, using different passwords for different accounts and between devices if possible, setting up privacy settings for social media accounts, and using 2-factor authentication method is possible. The Morrison-led government estimated that incidents of cybercrimes cost Australian businesses almost $29 bln every year. Last year, one in every three adult Aussies were affected by a cyberattack.
Dr Nalin Arachchilage, a senior researcher in Cyber Security at La Trobe University, stated that Cybercriminals aim more at breaking into their targets’ mindset than breaking directly into systems. He added that one thing to always remember is never to undertake the risk of making transactions of high-value based on an email alone. It is always important to verify the transaction by phone and if possible, verify the phone number itself.