Whether we like it or not, computers are playing an increasingly important role in our lives.
Even if we don’t have a laptop, tablet or mobile phone, many of the services we use every day rely on interconnectivity to function. You may be surprised to know that many of our home appliances and devices are capable of connection to the internet.
While this, mostly, leads to convenience, sometimes things go wrong. Technical faults have shut down entire networks, including one in 2020 that forced more than 800 Coles supermarkets to close because their checkouts couldn’t operate.
When things go wrong with computers, it can be just a “glitch” in the system that’s easily repaired. But some outages or interruptions are intentional, caused by criminals trying to access passwords and other data so they can steal from a business and its customers.
In the past few years, we’ve seen cyberattacks on businesses including Optus, Medibank, and even Parliament House in Canberra.
We’ll never know the full number of businesses – or individuals – affected by cyberattacks. But we do know that there are people trying to hack into computer systems all the time, and using information gleaned from data breaches to try to separate us from our money.
The latest Annual Cyber Threat Report from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) indicates that a cybercrime is reported on average once every 7 minutes – a 13% increase from the previous financial year.
October is Cyber Security Awareness Month (CSAM) and all Australians are urged to improve their cyber security knowledge and take action to protect their information and devices. In collaboration with National Seniors, the AFP have created new 90-second videos that explain how to stay ahead of cyber criminals.
National Seniors’ research has showed that older people who were less familiar with digital technology were most likely to report being scammed. 1
National Seniors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Chris Grice said: