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Australians urged to exercise cyber vigilance over Christmas period

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton have urged Australians to remain safe, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial losses being reported to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) every day.

user iconStephen Kuper
Tue, 24 Dec 2019
Australians urged to exercise cyber vigilance over Christmas period
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A new ACSC report, Cybercrime in Australia: July to September 2019, shows Australians are being targeted by sophisticated cyber operations online.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds urged consumers to proactively protect themselves.

“Australians are losing a total of almost $900,000 every day, with almost one in three Australian adults impacted by cyber crime in 2018,” Minister Reynolds said.

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“Some of the tactics that cyber criminals are adopting include sending fake emails and texts asking you to share personal information, creating fake shopping websites, and sending forged invoices to businesses.

“Cyber criminals are particularly active over the holiday season, so I urge all Australians to take the following steps:

  • Limit the amount of personal information you post online, including about your friends and family;
  • Regularly review the privacy settings on your social media account;
  • Think twice before responding to requests for personal information or money, whether by phone or email;
  • Never give someone remote access to your computer; and
  • Before buying goods or services online research the website and look at review pages – if it looks too good to be true, it almost certainly is.”

Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said that organised crime groups are becoming increasingly sophisticated in how they target ordinary Australians online.

“These transnational criminal groups impact our online safety and security and this report highlights the organised, well-financed nature of these dangerous networks who seek to do harm and take advantage of our communities,” Minister Dutton said.

“Our agencies are committed to working to ensure Australian’s are safe and secure online this Christmas, but we need to work together to send a clear message to these criminals who sit behind the screen: Australia is not open for business with organised cyber crime syndicates.”

More information about how to stay safe online can be found at www.cyber.gov.au.

Cybercrime in Australia: July to September 2019 is available at https://www.cyber.gov.au/publications/acsc-cybercrime-australia-report-july-september-2019

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