A first for reporting on cybercrime in Australia

The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) releases a first-time report on cybercrime in Australia.

AIC acting Deputy Director Mr Anthony Morgan said this is the first Cybercrime in Australia report, a new annual collection that aims to provide a clearer picture of the extent of cybercrime victimisation, help-seeking and harms from cybercrime among Australian computer users.

This inaugural report is based on a survey of 13,887 computer uses conducted in February and March this year.

This report delves into online abuse and harassment, malware, fraud and scams, and identity crime.

“In the 12 months prior to the survey, more than a quarter of respondents had been a victim online abuse and harassment, 22% had been a victim malware, 20% had been a victim of identity crime and misuse, and eight per cent had been a victim of fraud and scams,” Mr Morgan confirmed.

“One in three respondents said their information had been exposed in a data breach, which is a big increase on our previous survey. And we know from our research that data breaches increase your risk of being a victim of cybercrime.”

“This includes ransomware, and around one in twenty respondents to the survey said they had received a ransom message on their device in the 12 months prior to the survey,” said Mr Morgan.

The report findings suggest cybercrime victimisation is not evenly distributed, with certain sections of the community more likely to become victims and that frequent use of different platforms was generally associated with a higher risk.

“Encouraging people to adopt some simple safety measures while online can help reduce their likelihood of becoming a victim of cybercrime,” Mr Morgan said.

Mr Morgan said that the report shows that most people don’t report being a victim of cybercrime to police or to ReportCyber.

“Victims of fraud and scams were the most likely to seek help from police or ReportCyber. But our data shows that official statistics significantly underestimate the amount of cybercrime impacting the Australian community.”

“While many people don’t report because they think they could deal with the problem themselves or because it wasn’t serious enough, a large proportion didn’t know where or how to report. We need to make sure people know what help is available and who they can contact when they have fallen victim,” said Mr Morgan.

Mr Morgan stated that it is important to act promptly to cyber threats and take the necessary steps to protect yourself from further harm. And to ensure victims of cybercrime are well supported.

The report found that one quarter of all people who responded to the survey had been negatively impacted by cybercrime. And one in five respondents who owned or operated a small to medium business said their business had been impacted by cybercrime.

The report can be downloaded from the AIC website.


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