With an estimated one in five Australians experiencing online identity theft, we are warned the invisible threats of cybercrime are becoming very real and more tangible.
Privately and professionally, we need to pay more attention to what is becoming a troubling issue. But it is not only a case of being aware. We need to be prepared.
It's not a difficult undertaking to make sure proper online protection measures are in place. In 2006, the Australian Government set up the Stay Smart Online initiative to provide simple, easy-to-understand advice through a nation-wide partnership addressing cyber safety and security across industry, government and the community.
A priority was to create a cyber smart nation, with the help of specialist industry partners, by sharing online security skills and knowledge in order for people to thrive in the digital age.
According to a recent Accenture report, cybercrime increased 26 per cent in 2018 from the previous year, costing Australian companies $10.2 million. It outlined that on average, Australian businesses each experienced 65 security breaches - up from 53 in 2017 - with instances of ransomware, malware, phishing, and stolen devices all increasing in the 12-month period.
Stay Smart Online reports that about 59 per cent of Australian organisations have their business interrupted by a cyber breach every month, with small business representing 43 per cent of cybercrime victims.
The internet has become an essential tool in our everyday lives. We use it to shop, connect with family and friends, pay bills, run a business and more. On the flipside, the online world can also give cyber criminals opportunities to steal an individual's money, information or identity.
A person's online identity includes their name, date of birth, address, bank account details, credit card numbers, driver's licence, passport, and even photos shared with friends. All information cyber criminals can easily access if the necessary security measures aren't in place.
This week is Stay Smart Online national awareness week, which aims to empower people, businesses and the community to protect themselves online. The Reverse the Threat campaign recommends some simple protective measures including reviewing privacy settings, knowing how to spot phishing scams, creating strong and unique passwords, and turning on two-factor authentication.