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New report finds 1 in 6 Australians scammed during lockdown

As many as one in six Australians fell victim to an online scam during the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting experts to warn of illegal activity as screen time increases.

Findings from the NortonLifeLock Digital Transformation Report reveal changes in Australians' behaviours online as a result of the lockdown.

The most alarming finding being that as many as one in six Australians fell victim to cybercrime during the lockdown period.

READ MORE: 'The threat now online is as real as it's ever been': $1.67 billion cybersecurity strategy unveiled

As many as one in six Australians fell victim to an online scam during the COVID-19 pandemic

Mark Gorrie, Senior Director of NortonLifeLock, Asia-Pacific, says it's likely cybercrime increased during lockdown as a result of people's heightened anxieties around COVID-19.

"Cyber criminals always prey on people's fears, they are very opportunistic," Mr Gorrie told Nine.com.au.

"Depending on what's happening at the time, even pre-COVID in Australia, bushfires were a big problem and we started to see charity scams associated with that."

Australia ranked sixth in most serious cyber attack targets in world

Mr Gorrie says identity theft is one of the major concerns among cyberattacks.

As screen time increased during the lockdown period, so did the wealth of information made available to cybercriminals.

The report revealed up to 29 per cent of Australians were connecting to open or unsecured networks, leaving them more susceptible to phishing emails and dangerous malware.

"A lot of phishing emails are very much about harvesting information to develop and optimise," Mr Gorrie said.

"They then sell the data on say the dark web, and it develops a bit of an ecosystem amongst cybercriminals."

READ MORE: Scammers targeting online shoppers, daters and gamers, warns ACCC

Scott Morrison said a state actor is responsible for a cyber attack on Australia.

In order to stay safe online Mr Gorrie suggests taking your online hygiene as seriously as your physical hygiene.

HOW TO STAY SAFE ONLINE

  • Complicate your passwords and don't use the same one for multiple accounts
  • Use a virtual private network (VPN)
  • Be weary of coronavirus-related phishing emails
  • Only use trusted websites which include "https://", not "http://"
  • Update your devices regularly

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-news-cyber-attacks-increased-during-the-covid19-lockdown/c044d42f-b761-43ed-968b-4457000a5252

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