Advances in technology mean cyber-criminals can swindle, threaten and victimise Victorians with the click of a button from anywhere in the world.
(PRWEB) April 04, 2013
A campaign promoting safe internet use and warning about the dangers of cybercrime has been launched by the Department of Justice in Victoria, Australia.
The Protect Yourself Online has been launched to help Victorians protect themselves against online crimes such as hacking, fraud, cyberbullying and identity theft.
Department of Justice Director of Strategic Communication Simon Troeth said the department was proud to join other Victorian Government agencies to encourage Victorians to safeguard their privacy and think before they act online.
“Advances in technology mean cyber-criminals can swindle, threaten and victimise Victorians with the click of a button from anywhere in the world,” Mr Troeth said.
“A 2012 Norton study found Australians lost a staggering $2 billion to online crime last year, while a PriceWaterhouseCoopers report confirmed that cybercrime is now the second-most common form of economic crime in Australia.
“Victorians are spending more time online especially using social media but it’s important they know how to protect themselves against cyber-criminals by taking a few simple steps.
“If you don’t know who sent you an email don’t open it, if someone you know is being bullied online report it, and change your passwords regularly.”
As part of the campaign, posters have been distributed to secondary schools and Victorians are being encouraged to watch a short video, which outlines steps they can take to stay safe online.
Cybercrime expert and RMIT University Senior Lecturer in Electrical and Computer Engineering Dr Mark Gregory said cybercrime is a significant and rapidly growing problem for Victorians.
“Victorians today have many devices – computers, tablets and smartphones – permanently connected to the network and this increases our vulnerability to cybercrime,” Dr Gregory said.
”Many Victorians forget to turn devices off or disconnect from websites and applications, providing an opportunity for cybercriminals to harvest personal information and to infect our devices with malware. Securing and protecting every device is a good way to protect yourself online.
“Social media sites such as Facebook can provide cybercriminals with another opportunity to gather information, harass people and hack their computer. If you get a message via social media that appears unusual, delete it, change your passwords, check your security settings and alert friends and family to secure and protect their own accounts,” Dr Gregory said.
The golden rules for online safety being promoted through the campaign include:
- create strong passwords and change them regularly;
- use an anti-virus program and turn on automatic updates;
- if you don’t know who sent an email, delete it;
- think before you act online. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is;
- your personal information is valuable – protect it; and
- don’t respond to a cyberbully if you’re being bullied online. Block the person from contacting you online and report the incident to authorities if the cyberbullying continues.
To find out how to stay safe online, visit: http://www.justice.vic.gov.au/protectyourselfonline