One in three Australian adults fell victim to some form of cybercrime last year, costing the economy $2.3 billion.

Research released in Norton by Symantec’s Cyber Security Insights Report shows more than six million people fell victim to identify theft, credit fraud or had their passwords compromised.

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On average, cybercrime cost each Australian victim approximately $195 and 16.2 hours to rectify.

Year on year, the rate of cybercrime has risen by 13 percent.

Norton’s Pacific Territory manager Mark Gorrie said that the data revealed a simple truth – Australians do not take cybersecurity seriously.

“Consumers’ actions revealed a dangerous disconnect: Despite a steady stream of cybercrime sprees reported by media, too many people appear to feel invincible and skip taking even basic precautions to protect themselves,” said Gorrie.

“This disconnect highlights the need for consumer digital safety and the urgency for consumers to get back to basics when it comes to doing their part to prevent cybercrime.”

Cybersecurity measures such as fingerprint identification and additional security software has been on the increase with 73 percent of Australians bolstering their online defences.

Despite the uptake, 44 per cent of people who adopted new security measures still shared their password with other people.

Although more technically savvy, millennials are falling short to older Australians when it comes to password security.

One in four millennials use the same password for all of their online accounts whereas only 8 percent of older Australians use the same password across all of their accounts.

Gorrie believes that once the mandatory data breach notification laws take effect on February 22 more people will start to take their cybersecurity seriously.

“[The] mandatory data breach notification laws obligate government agencies and businesses to alert individuals if their data is accessed inappropriately, and causing serious harm as a result,” said Gorrie.

“While this scheme is designed to provide Australians with greater transparency, it has never been more important for consumers to consider their own security habits and whether these are making it easier or harder for cybercriminals to access their personal information.”

Recent research from the Commonwealth Bank has revealed that Australians over the age of 50 are three times more likely to fall victim to cybercrime.

The bulk of the scams targeting senior Australians included calls offering bogus IT support, fake websites and emails and scammers impersonating love interests online.

source: Nine News Australia