It’s something that very few of us think about, but when you fall victim to hackers it can impact you considerably, both financially and emotionally.
Not to mention the time you’ll need to sort it all out.
In fact, cybercrime cost Australians almost $2.3BILLION last year, with over a third of the population affected.
Yet, despite the staggering cost of cybercrime, new research warns that few people are actually taking steps to protect themselves.
Cybercrime cost Australians almost $2.3BILLION in 2017 with over a third of the population affected – but new research warns that few people are taking steps to protect themselves
A recent global Norton survey of over 21,000 adults shows that many of us still ‘feel invincible’ and skip online security precautions, despite the warnings against hackers and a deluge of high-profile privacy breaches.
Out of pocket: Joshua Casemore, 27, was shocked to learn fraudsters had racked up debts of $12,000 on his credit card
Last year Cronulla resident Joshua Casemore, 27, was shocked to learn that hackers had racked up debts of $12,000 on his credit card.
He says: ‘It was around Valentine’s Day and they had spent thousands on flowers, they’d purchased computers and they had bought all sorts of things online in my name.’
‘I was about to Buy Premium Accounts a house with my partner and the fraud couldn’t have come at a worse time.
It was so stressful having to put the $12,000 as a debt under my name, because it hadn’t been resolved, at the time we lodged our application. We were worried we wouldn’t get the mortgage and that we’d be affected by a higher rate because of the hackers.’
Joshua isn’t alone.
In 2017 six million Aussies were affected by cybercrime and in addition to the financial toll, each victim lost two working days dealing with the aftermath.
Even celebrities aren’t immune from cybercrime. According to a recent report Virgin Australia has recently been targeted, allowing hackers to access the travel information of some of the country’s biggest stars.
Naomi Watts, Rebel Wilson and even Nicole Kidman are said to have been affected by the hack, with the perpetrators reportedly passing on the stars travel itineraries to paparazzi.
Victims: Naomi Watts, Rebel Wilson and Nicole Kidman are all said to have been affected by a hack of Virgin Australia travel information, which leaked their travel plans
Wendy Day, who represents Nicole Kidman, told a newspaper that is was ‘extremely disturbing that clients and families were being tracked, especially considering the world we live in today’.
In 2014 hackers managed to access private and intimate photos and videos, of celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, Kate Upton and Kirsten Dunst.
It seems four years on we’re still not learning the lesson.
Despite the threat of cybercrime being a very real one – how can you protect yourself online?
Here, Daily Mail Australia examines the best ways to outsmart hackers and ensure your personal information is kept just that, personal.
You can thank us later.
USE DIFFERENT PASSWORDS
Have you been using the same password since setting up your first email account?
Or, worse, something obvious like ‘password’? Perhaps it’s time to change.
Have you been using the same password since setting up your first email account?
Or, worse, something obvious like ‘password’? Perhaps it’s time to change
The number of people who choose the same credentials for ALL of their online profiles would surprise you, with 16 per cent of cybercrime victims admitting to doing so.
And over half of the Norton survey respondents who experienced cybercrime shared their passwords with others – making any security efforts pointless.
Sydney resident Alex Michael had his bank account hacked recently and it left him without a card.
He now realises his mistake and says: ‘I had my bank card details saved on a lot of websites, all with the same passwords.
All it took was for one of the places I had it saved to be ‘hacked,’ which I believe in this case means someone managed to get past security of one of the websites my card is saved, and stole all the information.’
‘My chances of getting hacked are increased because I have my card info on more sites than most people.’
Fortunately, Norton Security Premium keeps your passwords and personal information private so you don’t have to worry.
One method to keep your accounts secure is two-step verification, which is now available with major companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook
One method to keep your accounts secure is two-step verification, which is now available with major companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook.
It is one of the most effective ways to stop unauthorised access to your personal accounts – even when your password has been stolen.
Two-step verification typically works by entering your username and password and then receiving an authentication code sent via SMS to your phone.
Users then enter the code, which serves as an additional security step, and can access their account or profile.
Check your settings in your online accounts to see if two-step SMS login is available.
DON’T SAVE YOUR DETAILS
Relying upon an internet browser or app to save your username and password may sound convenient, but there are risks involved in doing so
Relying upon an internet browser or app to save your username and password may sound convenient, but there are risks involved in doing so.
Victims of cybercrime are almost twice as likely to have their browser save their passwords for them than non-victims, Norton’s research shows.
Additionally, over a quarter of people who fall prey to hackers admit to writing their passwords down on paper, exposing them to opportunistic cyber criminals.
The lesson is: keep your passwords private, varied and memorised so you don’t have to depend on your web programs.
SECURE YOUR DEVICE BEFORE IT’S STOLEN
Having a smart phone lost or stolen also opens you up to a variety of security risks – especially if they have weak passwords or are logged into their personal accounts
Protecting your phone and tablet is just as important as safeguarding the family computer, with more than a third of cybercrime victims owning a smart device.
Having a smart phone lost or stolen also opens you up to a variety of security risks – especially if they have weak passwords or are logged into their personal accounts.
Strengthen your passwords and make sure your most important accounts, such as emails and personal banking, require manual or two-step login.
Also, make sure you are always able to access your accounts from another device, like a home PC, to secure or deactivate them quickly.
And there’s still hope for your lost phone or tablet, as Norton Security Premium instantly pinpoints misplaced or stolen devices to help you get them back.
ALWAYS HAVE A BACK-UP PLAN
Half of Australians have at least one device that isn’t backed up, according to Norton’s research
Half of Australians have at least one device that isn’t backed up, according to Norton’s research.
A stolen phone can mean losing thousands of photos, audio and videos – which makes securing your files doubly important.
If you don’t like the idea of losing gigabytes of data and years of memories (and why would you?) it’s crucial to have a back-up plan.
Norton Security Premium offers automated set-it-and-forget-it local and secured online backup.
This lets you quickly and easily back up and restore digital photos, music, financial documents, and other important files in case of loss or damage.
KEEP AN EYE ON THE KIDS
Younger people are less likely to be aware of web security risks and hidden costs (such as in-app purchases) and take fewer precautions with passwords
Being conscious of your children’s internet activity, and safeguarding them against online threats, is absolutely essential for all parents.
Younger people are less likely to be aware of web security risks and hidden costs (such as in-app purchases) and take fewer precautions with passwords.
Many are also worryingly oblivious to the dangers of sharing personal information online that they may find difficult to remove later.
Luckily, parents have one less thing to worry about with Norton’s technology as less experienced internet users are warned against social media scams and suspicious posts.
BE SCAM AWARE
Norton Security Premium automatically alerts users to phishing sites and scams, but there’s also a handy trick for spotting these fraudulent website
One method hackers use to steal passwords, financial details and other personal information is ‘phishing’.
The scam works as follows: an unsolicited email from a forged sender address links the user to a fake website which closely resembles a legitimate organisation, such as a bank.
The unsuspecting victim is then encouraged to provide sensitive information to these websites, which may be infected with malware.
Norton Security Premium automatically alerts users to phishing sites and scams, but there’s also a handy trick for spotting dodgy websites.
Look closely at the URL and cross-check it with the actual website being fraudulently imitated.
Also watch out for any misspellings or unfamiliar suffixes.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR PC
It goes without saying: a healthy, speedy and up-to-date PC is better equipped to deal with hackers and security threats
It goes without saying: a healthy, speedy and up-to-date PC is better equipped to deal with hackers and security threats.
In addition to its safeguarding features, the easy-to-use Norton Security Premium automatically tunes up your PC to help keep it running well.
It helps you keep your computer performing at its best by providing information about files and applications that may be impacting performance.
Norton Security Premium (three devices) one-year subscription for Windows, Mac OS X, Android, and iOS is available now with $30 off for just $104.99.