New facts emerge about Australians and cybercrime

NORTON today released its findings from the Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report, which sheds light on the truths of online crime and the impact it has on Australian consumers.

The report found that nine out of 10 (90 per cent) of Australians worry they will be a victim of online crime, and 66 percent believe it is more likely their credit card information will be stolen online than from their wallets.

"Our findings reveal that consumer reservations are grounded in reality. In the past year, more than $1.2 billion was lost to cybercrime and approximately four million Australians were impacted by online crime," said Mark Gorrie, Director, Norton by Symantec, Pacific region.

"Consumer confidence has also been rocked by the number of mega breaches that exposed the identities of millions of people who were making routine purchases from well-known retailers," he added.

"Our findings demonstrate that the headlines rattled people's trust in mobile and online activity, but it hasn't led to widespread adoption of simple protection measures people should take to safeguard their devices and information online."

Consumers Frustrated With Cybercrime

Australians lost an average of 14 hours and $325 per person dealing with the impact of cybercrime. On top of this, cybercrime takes an emotional toll with nearly nine out of 10 respondents saying they'd be devastated if their financial information was compromised.

"Credit card fraud and online extortion continue to be one of the biggest issues affecting Australians online. Alarmingly, Australia ranks as the eight most impacted country in the world  by ransomware, with victims being asked to pay on average a ransom of $420-$700 with no guarantee their files will be freed," said Gorrie.

Overconfident, But Underprepared

Despite concern and awareness of cybercrime, consumers are overconfident in their online security behaviors.

When asked to grade their security practices, they consistently award themselves a solid "A." But in reality, most are not passing the most basic requirement of online security: password use. In Australia:

  • Less than half (47 percent) always use a secure password - a combination of at least eight letters, numbers and symbols.
  • People are sharing passwords to sensitive accounts with friends and family. Of those sharing passwords, nearly one in three (27 percent) share their banking account password, and on average they are sharing passwords for two accounts, with the most common passwords shared being email (55 percent) and social media (38 percent).
  • Women are also more likely to share their passwords over men (23 percent).


Additional Key Findings:

  • Less than half (40 percent) are confident they know what to do if there were affected by online crime.
  • More than one in four (26 percent) of millennials think they aren't "interesting enough" to be a target of online crime, despite 49 percent experiencing online crime.
  • Just under half of Australian consumers (44 percent) think that storing their credit/banking information in the cloud is riskier than not wearing a seatbelt.

Norton Top Tips to Stay Safe Online:

  • Choose a unique, smart, secure password for each account you have online. For tips on how to do this, click here.
  • Delete emails from senders you don't know, and don't click on attachments or links on suspicious looking emails.
  • On social media sites if an offer sounds too good to be true, it just might be. Beware of the pitfalls of clicking on links from social media sites. Before clicking, hover the mouse over the link to see its destination. Only click on links that lead to reputable, official company pages.
  • Always monitor your financial accounts for unusual activity. If there is a charge that you didn't make, report it immediately. Often cybercriminals will charge a small "test" amount before attempting to drain your bank account.
  • Don't put off installing security software such as Norton Security Premium and updating it regularly.
  • Use a secure backup solution to protect files and backup regularly so criminals can't hold them for ransom.
  • Report cybercrime to ACORN and seek support from IDCare, if you have been a victim of identity theft.

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