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3.7 Million Australians Affected By Cybercrime

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

Cybercrime is taking a heavy toll on Australians, a new report by Symantec has warned. As per the details contained in Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report, as many as 3.7 million Australians were affected by online crime in the last one year. This is an unprecedented number considering that Australia has a total population of just over 23 million. This means that one in five adults (considering only those who have access to the internet) in Australia is getting impacted by cyber rime in one way or another.

The report also says that Australians have lost more than 1.2 billion Australian dollars to online crime in the last one year alone. This translates to 325 Australian dollars per victim and 14 hours per person which could have been better utilized for much more productive work. Symantec also discovered that 90 percent of Australians were scared of getting impacted by cybercrime. As a matter of fact, 66 percent Australians fear that there is a strong chance that their credit card information could be stolen online rather than from their wallet.

The report also says that Australia is not the only nation to be affected by the surge of cybercrime in the region. The residents of New Zealand has been targeted by criminals as well though the extent of the problem over there is not as severe as it is in Australia. The report says that 850,000 New Zealanders became victims of cyber criminals in the last one year which cost them 270 Australian dollars on an average.

Highlighting the details contained in the report, the director of Pacific region at Symantec Mark Gorrie said that ransomware accounted for a big portion of cybercrime within Australia. He also believes that the problem will continue to grow since Australia happened to be an affluent country. Australians who have not backed up their data or do not have adequate protection against online attacks would continue to become victims of criminals and would be willing to pay a huge amount of money to get their data back. Gorrie also revealed that they have witnessed a marked growth in the number of ransomware threats as well as the number of people willing to pay the criminals which suggests that criminals are making a killing in the region.

Gorrie also suggests that overconfidence on the part of internet users plays a huge role in such crimes. While a large number of Australian internet users were aware of threats lurking on the web, only a tiny percentage of them were taking concrete steps to safeguard their data. He also said that their research shows that less than 50 percent of Australians were using secure passwords, 27 percent shared their banking passwords while 33 percent were not using passwords to protect their computers or mobile devices. Gorrie also said that although the increased awareness was a welcome sign, things won’t improve unless Australians start taking proactive steps to protect themselves on the internet.

Considering the sheer number of people affected by cybercrime in Australia, privacy services like VPNs are the need of the hour. Virtual Private Networks encrypt data with sophisticated algorithms and protect data while it is passing through unsecured networks which makes them a perfect solution for Australians scared of losing their data online.

April 9, 2016

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