Cybercrime claims 5.4m Aussie victims
Cybercrime claims 5.4m Aussie victims

Australia's addiction to social media and smartphones has led to a spike in the number of people falling victim to cybercrime, a new study has found.

Around 5.4 million people were targeted by online criminals over the past 12 months, according to Norton's annual Cybercrime report released today.

Globally, there were more than 556 million victims.

The study recorded a significant jump in the rate of Australian users who have been attacked through social networking sites or mobile devices.

More than one-in-three Australians active on social media say they've been a victim of cybercrime on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Cybersecurity expert Adam Palmer, who advises the FBI and Norton, said criminals were rapidly shifting away from traditional PC-based virus attacks and toward "easier targets" on mobile devices.

"We used to say that cyber criminals move at the speed of light but police move at the speed of law, and I think that's exactly what we're seeing," Mr Palmer told AAP.

"Because people have so much of their life and business combined on these devices, the types of crimes we see cannot only steal money from them but really violate their privacy."

Mr Palmer said crimes can range from pinching money through people's mobile banking applications, accessing contact information, click-jacking, online harassment or posting inappropriate material on social media.

The report estimates cybercrime costs Australians $1.65 billion a year and $110 billion worldwide, with the average victim being fleeced of $306 - almost double the global average.

Mr Palmer suggests this could be because Australians possibly do a significant more amount of banking and other transactions online than other countries.

Individual financial losses, however, are down slightly on last year.

The West Australian

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