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Symantec has released is findings from the 2013 Norton Report, revealing that cybercrime has cost Australians $1.06 billion in the past year.

The report also found the number of Australian victims reached 5 million, and that Australians are generally still taking major risks online when it comes to utilising mobile devices and social media.

“Globally the cost of cybercrime has risen but in Australia we have seen a decline when compared to the AU$1.65bn recorded last year,” said Brenton Smith, Vice President and Managing Director, Pacific region, Symantec.

“We believe this is due to cybercriminals shifting tactics, perhaps as Australians become more aware of scams. Cyber criminals also use tactics where there is a lower cost per head to victims, as they believe scams like these have a higher chance of escaping notice. Although the number of victims remains static, they are clearly still making money from online fraud.”

“However, Australians are not fully aware of the importance of securing their connected mobile devices, with 32% of Australian smartphone users having experienced mobile cybercrime in the past 12 months. While adoption of mobile devices is high, willingness to take precautions against threats is low,” Smith said.

The Norton report revealed that 57% of Australian mobile device users aren’t aware that security solutions for mobile devices exist, and  21% of adults have lost their mobile device or had it stolen. Both iOS and Android have device finding offerings, in Find Your iPhone and Google's Android Device Manager.

Norton also noted some Australians are also being risky with their personal data and security when using and connecting with social media websites. Almost one third (30%) of the surveyed participants connect with people they do not know and one in four (25%) share their social media passwords with others as well.Oversharing of information can create a significant risk and they need to be vigilant.

A suprisingly high number (44%) of Australian Wi-Fi users access or send personal emails on public or unsecure Wi-Fi, which Norton said showed that Australians have a lack of awareness of the dangers associated with sharing and connecting to unprotected internet connections.

Norton listed some other notable findings for Australia:

  • The average direct cost per cybercrime in Australia was AU$201 (US$187) in 2013 compared to AU$306 (US$317) in 2012
  • 46% of Australian adults have experienced cybercrime in the past 12 months
  • Nearly 50 % of working adults in Australia use their personal device for both work and play
  • 55% of online file storage users think that online file storage is safe

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David Swan

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David Swan is a tech journalist from Melbourne and is iTWire's Associate Editor. Having started off as a games reviewer at the tender age of 14, he now has a degree in Journalism from RMIT (with Honours) and owns basically every gadget under the sun. You can email him at david.swan@itwire.com or follow him at twitter.com/mrdavidswan

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