The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACCC) recorded 67,500 cybercrime reports in 2021, this figure is up nearly 13% from the previous financial year.
Fraud, online shopping scams and online banking scams were the top reported cybercrime types and additionally, self-reported losses from cybercrime total more than $33 billion, according to the ACSC’s latest annual cyber threat report.
Sophisticated hackers often use sneaky tactics such as sending fake text messages containing suspicious links to unsuspecting users in order to gain elevated access to private information.
Last year, Microsoft found more than 280,000 cyber security breaches. About 98% of attacks used a password with less than 10 characters.
In addition, only 2% contained a special character and Proofpoint research found 42% of working Australians use the same password across multiple accounts.
Victoria Police recognises cybercrime as “a key facilitator” of organised crime.
“Cybercrime presents a complex and fast-moving threat and is recognised nationally as a key facilitator of serious and organised crime.
“There are many practical ways for Victorians to protect themselves online.”
A good place to start is to access resources available to you.
Experts say long and complex passwords with a combination of numbers, letters and special characters are generally the strongest.
Mr Patrick added that using a phrase from a poem, or a book or a song is a “clever” way to choose a password that is easy to recall.
“If you want to make it even stronger, you could create an abbreviation that doesn’t mean anything to anyone but makes sense to you,” Patrick said.
He also recommended using the website Have I Been Pwned, which tracks password breaches.
The rise of facial recognition software means remembering seemingly endless passwords could soon be a thing of the past.
“You’ve probably noticed technology companies are pushing really hard to … get us to use facial recognition,” Patrick said.
“Soon everything will be biometric. It will just be a face scan or a retina scan or a fingerprint tied to your identity and that’s how you will log in and authenticate yourself.”