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2013 Norton Report: Total Cost of Cybercrime in Australia amounts to AU$1.06 billion

Australians still unaware of the risks associated with mobile devices and social networks

Sydney, Aust. – Oct. 16, 2013 – Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) today released findings from the 2013 Norton Report that revealed the total cost of cybercrime in Australia in the past 12 months at AU$1.06 billion (US$1 billion), with the number of Australian victims reaching 5 million. [1]The report also revealed that Australians are still taking major risks online when it comes to utilising mobile devices and social media.

"Globally the cost of cybercrime has risen but in Australia we have seen a decline when compared to the AU$1.65bn recorded last year," said Brenton Smith, Vice President and Managing Director, Pacific region, Symantec. "We believe this is due to cybercriminals shifting tactics, perhaps as Australians become more aware of scams. Cyber criminals also use tactics where there is a lower cost per head to victims, as they believe scams like these have a higher chance of escaping notice. Although the number of victims remains static, they are clearly still making money from online fraud."

"However, Australians are not fully aware of the importance of securing their connected mobile devices, with 32 percent of Australian smartphone users having experienced mobile cybercrime in the past 12 months. While adoption of mobile devices is high, willingness to take precautions against threats is low," Smith added.

The Norton report revealed that 57 percent of Australian mobile device users aren't aware that security solutions for mobile devices exist, highlighting that there is still a long way to go in educating Australians about the importance of protecting their information and identities across all connected devices. Securing mobile devices is important as 21 percent of adults have lost their mobile device or had it stolen putting their digital identities at risk.

Some Australians are also being risky with their personal data and security when using and connecting with social media websites. Almost one third (30 percent) of the surveyed participants connect with people they do not know and one in four (25 percent) share their social media passwords with others as well. Oversharing of information can create a significant risk and they need to be vigilant.

Australians have also been identified as being casual when utilising public or unsecure Wi-Fi. The Norton Report highlighted that 44 percent of Australian Wi-Fi users access or send personal emails on public or unsecure Wi-Fi, showing that Australians have a lack of awareness of the dangers associated with sharing and connecting to unprotected internet connections.

Other Notable Findings for Australia:

  • The average direct cost per cybercrime in Australia was AU$201 (US$187) in 2013 compared to AU$306 (US$317) in 2012
  • 46 percent of Australian adults have experienced cybercrime in the past 12 months
  • Nearly 50 percent of working adults in Australia use their personal device for both work and play
  • 55 percent of online file storage users think that online file storage is safe

Top Tips for Staying Safe Online

  1. Defend Your Data: Install a comprehensive security suite for all devices and regularly update your security patches for all devices
  2. Be Aware of Device Policies for Work: Understand the rules and policies around using your personal devices at work and vice versa
  3. Be Cautious in the Cloud: While cloud solutions make it easier to save and share files, be careful who can access them and what information is shared
  4. Share Personal Information on a Secure Connection: Take care with sharing personal information through the Internet, unless it is a secure connection. Always check for "https" in the web address
  5. After You Connect, Double Check: Check your credit card and bank statements regularly for any suspicious transactions and report them to your service provider, your financial institution and the police
  6. Have a Strong Password: Use strong passwords for all devices and change them regularly
  7. Protect Your Social Network: Take a moment to check your privacy settings on all your social media accounts and where possible install two factor authentication

For more findings from the 2013 Norton Report globally and by country, please visit: symantec.com/norton-report-2013.

For more information on Norton's mobile protection offerings, please go here.

About the Norton Report

The Norton Report (formerly the Norton Cybercrime Report) is one of the world's largest consumer cybercrime studies, based on self-reported experiences of more than 13,000 adults across 24 countries, aimed at understanding how cybercrime affects consumers, and how the adoption and evolution of new technologies impacts consumers' security.

About Symantec

Symantec protects the world's information, and is a global leader in security, backup and availability solutions. Our innovative products and services protect people and information in any environment – from the smallest mobile device, to the enterprise data center, to cloud-based systems. Our world-renowned expertise in protecting data, identities and interactions gives our customers confidence in a connected world. More information is available at www.symantec.com or by connecting with Symantec and Norton Australia at @SymantecANZ and Facebook.com/NortonAU.

Norton Report Methodology

Between 4th of July, 2013 and 1st of August, 2013, Edelman Berland conducted online interviews with 13,022 adults, aged 18 to 64 from 24 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America). The margin of error for the total sample of adults (n=13,022 is 0.9 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence. 1,000 adult respondents were interviewed in each of USA and India, 500 in other countries. The global data has been weighted to ensure all countries have equal representation of n500 adults.

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[1] Norton Report, October 2013, go.symantec.com/Norton-report-2013