Cyber crime costs Australians $1.06 billion

Cyber crime costs Australians $1.06 billion

Security vendor’s report finds number of local victims hits five million

Cyber crime over the past 12 months has affected five million Australians and cost them $1.06 billion.

This finding comes via the 2013 Norton Report, which discovered that Australians are engaged in risky behaviour when using mobile devices and social media.

Over the 12 month period, 46 per cent of Australians admitted to being exposed to cyber crime, which typically cost the victim $201 per incident.

Symantec Pacific region vice president and managing director, Brenton Smith, said the results are due to cybercriminals shifting tactics as Australians are becoming clued up about 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,” he said.

“Although the number of victims remains static, they are clearly still making money from online fraud.”

Awareness gap

While the number of victims is not encouraging, Smith said the cost of cybercrime in Australia declined this year when compared to the $1.65 billion recorded last year.

While globally the number has risen over the past year, report found that 57 per cent of local mobile device users have not heard of security solutions for mobile devices.

Smith said this highlights a need for Australians to be educated about why information and identities need to be protected across all connected devices.

“In the past 12 months, 32 per cent of Australian smartphone users having experienced mobile cyber crime,” he said.

With 21 per cent of respondents admitting to having their mobile device lost or stolen, Smith said a lax attitude to mobile security is putting digital identities at risk.

“While adoption of mobile devices is high, willingness to take precautions against threats is low,” he said.

Another key finding was that approximately 50 per cent of Australians use their personal device for both work and play, and 55 per cent view online file storage as being safe.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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