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Report reveals 7.5m Australians were victims of cybercrime during COVID pandemic


NortonLifeLock has released the shocking findings of its 2020 Cyber Security Report which reveals more than 7.5 millions Australians fell victim to cybercrime during the COVID-19 pandemic with a collective loss of $3 billion.

A global leader in cyber security, NortonLifeLock says about 330 million people across 10 countries were victims of cybercrime and more than 55 million subjected to identity theft.

Pre-COVID in 2019 the number of Australian cybercrime victims was 6 million.

During the pandemic more people than ever were working and learning from home and as a result 65 per cent of respondents said they spent more time online than ever before and mostly outside the protection of their corporate security and firewalls which brought them right into the firing line of cyber criminals.

The sixth annual Norton Cyber Security Insights Report was conducted online among more than 10,000 adults in 10 countries including 1005 in Australia.

It found one in five Australians detected unauthorised access to an account or device in the past 12 months and the time lost to resolve these issues has also risen from 4.2 hours in 2019 to 8.2 hours in 2020.

“We’ve been incredibly fortunate in Australia that our lives have almost returned to normal. However, some behaviours we adopted in 2020 will likely remain and cybercriminals have quickly learned to exploit the increased online activity,” says Mark Gorrie, Senior Director, Asia Pacific, NortonLifeLock.

“As we adapt to the post-pandemic world, companies and individuals in particular will have a greater responsibility to ensure the proper protections are in place to fight evolving cybercriminals.

“Cybercriminals have taken advantage of our changing behaviours and increased digital footprint.”

The most common reactions by victims (60 per cent) was to make their passwords stronger and contacting the company that the account was hacked from (42 per cent).

But only a quarter purchased security software or increased their existing security software.

“It’s very encouraging to see more Australians taking proactive steps to their cyber security and protecting their digital world,” Gorrie says.