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It’s Stay Smart Online Week – here are some tips to boost your online safety

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It’s Stay Smart Online Week and a time to think about cyber safety and security. This year, the theme of the Australian Government initiative is Reverse the Threat after it was revealed one in four Australians were affected by cybercrime in 2017.

Running until October 14, Stay Smart Online Week will see some of Australia’s largest organisations, including ANZ, Westpac, NAB Australia Post, Qantas, Netflix, Facebook and Google, band together to support the push to combat cybercrime.

Here are some cyber security facts:

– 6.09 million Australian adults were hit by cybercrime or cyber-enabled crime last year. This is one in four Australians.

– 43 per cent of cyber-attacks are aimed at small businesses with an average cost of $10,000.

– 59 per cent of people use the same password across all of their devices and accounts.

– 80 per cent of Android users and 23 per cent of iOS users haven’t installed the latest software update on their device, leaving them exposed to cyber threats.

– 87 per cent of people have taken risks on public Wi-Fi.

“One in four Australians were hit by cybercrime last year – that’s over 6 million Australians. If we’re going to fight back, we need to work together,” says Alastair MacGibbon, Head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC)

“Fake emails and texts that try to get you to provide your personal information, fake shopping websites and fake invoices sent to Australian businesses are just some of the ways that cybercriminals are targeting Australians.

“We really want to draw attention to the threat of cybercrime, which is why we are changing our website and social media pages from colour to black and white for Stay Smart Online Week.”

This year’s campaign will focus on four key areas to help individuals and businesses become more aware of their online security and safety and stay a step ahead of cyber criminals.

These are:

PASSWORDS: A strong password is like having a strong lock. They are the lock on the front door to our online lives. Make sure you have strong passwords and use a second layer of authentication, like an SMS code or a fingerprint.

PHISHING: Fake emails try to trick you into offering your personal details. We all need to closely check emails that ask for personal details, or verification of our passwords or bank details — whether we are at home or at work. Contact the vendor or organisation independently to check its authenticity.

UPDATES: People get annoyed when they see an update but it’s actually there for your own good. When you get a reminder to update the software on your computer, phone or apps, you should do it right away. Better still, set it to auto-update. These updates help you protect your information and identity.

PUBLIC WI-FI:  It is possible for others to see what you are doing over public Wi-Fi networks, so be wary – don’t do online banking or online shopping or send sensitive information.

You can find other tools and tips to stay safe online and also get help if you have been hacked at www.staysmartonline.gov.au/reversethethreat.