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Stay Smart Online. Reverse the Threat

Each year the number of Australians impacted by cybercriminals continues to rise. In 2017, over 6 million adult Australians were impacted by cybercrime - that's one in every four Australians1. This is a statistic that needs to be reversed.

At a time when the majority of us are online to conduct our day-to-day activities, cybercriminals are looking for gaps in our online accounts, in an attempt to exploit our busy lives and steal our money or personal information. 

It's ten dollars each from 100,000 people from a fake online shopping store. Or it's a major romance scam, where people lose their homes, their savings, and their superannuation. And it's the black market for our identities, which can be used to order credit cards in our names.

Gone are the days when we don't have a suspicious email in our inbox. We all receive emails from cybercriminals who try to trick us into providing our credit card details, bank account logins, account passwords and personal information to gain money. And we have all heard stories of scams from our friends, families and loved ones.

Working with the community

Educating the community on current online threats and providing information on how to best protect themselves, is largely delivered through the Australian Cyber Security Centre's flagship awareness program, Stay Smart Online.

Stay Smart Online was established in 2006 and has grown into a community of more than 80,000 individuals and organisations, all committed to sharing online safety information.

Each year, the Australian Government hosts the national Stay Smart Online (SSO) Week. This year the 'Reverse the Threat' campaign highlights how we can better protect our families, businesses, and organisations online by bringing cyber security and cybercrime out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

To highlight the impact of cybercrime we have changed our websites and social pages from colour to black and white for the week, drawing attention to the dark side of the internet. These visual changes demonstrate our commitment to reversing the threat of cybercrime.

Understanding the online world

The average Australian household contains seventeen internet connected devices. If not properly protected, these devices can provide cybercriminals easy access into your home.

Head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre, Alastair MacGibbon, describes cyber security as a core foundation for both a successful economy and a successful society.

'It puts us here at the ACSC in a really interesting position, in that we're coming at it from two fronts. While we're supporting the government's broader national security agenda, a key focus for us is protecting the community as they go about their normal business, whether it's social or commercial.' Mr MacGibbon said.

'Cybercrime is planned. Cybercriminals use psychology to take advantage of us - like our desire to make money, grab a bargain or find love. You can fight back by using the tips, tools and techniques that we're highlighting this week.'

One of the biggest challenges for us as a community is understanding the fundamentals of how to operate safely in an online environment.

Head of the Engagement Operations and Intelligence Division at the Australian Cyber Security Centre, Lynn Moore describes why this is often so difficult for us to understand.

'The key for us is making cyber security another important thing to deal with on a daily basis. We lock our houses, we lock our cars and we put security systems in. We know and address the risks - we need to do the same in the online world,' Ms Moore said.

Prevention is key

The theme for this year's Stay Smart Online Week is Reverse the Threat. Our partners, including some major organisations -- ANZ, NAB, Westpac, Australia Post, Netflix, Facebook and Google -- are coming together in a show of solidarity against cybercrime.

The campaign focuses on four key areas of prevention, to help individuals and businesses to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals by improving personal and organisational cyber security:

  • PASSWORDS: Passwords are the lock on the front door to our online lives. Make sure you have strong passwords and use a second layer of authentication, like an SMS code or a fingerprint.

  • PHISHING: We all need to closely check emails asking for personal details, or verification of our passwords or bank details --- whether we are at home or at work. Fake emails are getting increasingly sophisticated. Contact the vendor or organisation independently to check its authenticity.

  • UPDATES: When you get a reminder to update the software on your computer, phone or apps, you should do it promptly. Better still, set it to auto-update. It will help you protect your information and identity.

  • PUBLIC WI-FI:  It is possible for others to see what you are doing over public Wi-Fi networks, so be wary - don't do online banking or online shopping or send sensitive information.

For more information

Join us and our partners by taking a few simple steps to lock down your online security. Together we can reverse the threat of cybercrime.

For tools and tips to help you reverse the threat, visit Stay Smart Online's 'Reverse the Threat' page.

Stay Smart Online also offers a free email alert service to explain recent online threats and how you can manage them. And you can follow them on Facebook.

To report an incident, call us on 1300 CYBER1 (1300 292 371)

Media enquiries

The ACSC and Stay Smart Online are part of the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD). For enquiries please contact:


  1. Symantec, Norton Cyber Security Insights Report Global Results (2017).
October 8th, 2018