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Reversing the Increasing Threat of Cybercrime

A Deakin University cybersecurity expert shared that one in three Australians can expect to be impacted by cybercrime or a data breach, which releases their personal details.

According to a recent press release, the Director of Deakin University’s Centre for Cyber Security Research and Innovation (CSRI) explained that the risk had increased from one in four Australians only a few years ago.

This is because cybercriminals find more creative ways to hack through the digital defences.

The CSRI develops innovative technologies and methodologies for securing cyberspace in Australia and beyond.

Australians lost more than AU$ 10million to scammers last year and cybercrime appears headed in one direction.

Everyone has a story about a relative, parent or child who has been a victim of digital crime, through a phone or email scam, a malicious website or attachment like ransomware.

This year Stay Smart Online Week, which ran from 7-13 October, continues its theme of ‘Reverse the Threat’ of cybercrime.

It aims to empower Australians to take control of their online identity by reviewing privacy settings, learning how to spot phishing scams, creating strong and unique passwords, and turning on two-factor authentication.

Scamming

Human beings are susceptible to scams. As curious, social animals, people are often more trusting than they should be.

Body language cues are lacking when connecting with people by phone, over the internet or by email. People use body language to assess risk in people unknown to them.

Aside from this, it has become easy for scammers to use fear to get people to become compliant and follow instructions and orders, such as looking like the tax office or police.

The scammers manipulate anxieties and force people to make decisions fast without thinking through the consequences.

Emails or SMS messages that require urgent action are often a warning sign to consumers, especially if these items contain links.

Some examples include:

  1. Being asked to pay unexpected fines or invoices or risk going to jail
  2. Being asked by a government agency to login to update details, and links are provided in the email
  3. Being directed to an urgent action to prevent fraud on an account
  4. Logging in to a cloud service to access a document from an unknown person

Prevention of Threat of Cybercrime

  • The Director reiterated the importance of being more cautious with people encountered online. He shared some advice to avoid being scammed.
  • Avoid opening attachments from people you don’t know and remain suspicious when you hear from people you do know.
  • It is very easy to attack someone via email as malicious codes can be buried in photos, PDFs or attached documents.
  • If there is no need to open something, definitely do not open it.
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