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New self-help tool launched for Stay Smart Online Week 2017

9 October 2017

For those who have experienced identity theft or a cybercrime, there is a new online tool to help work out what has happened and to get advice. It’s the first time a tool like this has been offered to the Australian public, and was launched by the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security Dan Tehan at the start of Stay Smart Online Week 2017. 

“This new Cyber First Aid Kit offers every Australian yet another avenue of support if they’re concerned their personal information has been compromised online,” Mr Tehan said at the launch yesterday at Google Australia HQ in Sydney.

“It is a place where you can go and ask very simple questions about any concerns that you might have about your online activity.”

The government-funded kit developed by IDCARE offers personalised support to individuals and businesses that fear they’ve been hit by cybercrime or identity theft.

It allows them to open a website and within a few clicks find out how to address their cyber security issue.

“It empowers people through knowledge,” said the developer of the tool, Professor David Lacey from the charity IDCARE. IDCARE is an identity support service, supported by the Australian Government, which offers online and telephone advice.

Online scams costing Australians millions

Australians lost more than $57.5 million to scams in the first eight months of 2017, according to the latest Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch figures. More than half of that—$31 million—has been lost to scams involving the internet, email or social networking.

“Sadly—and particularly when it comes to cybercrime—we’re seeing it grow across Australia,” Mr Tehan said.

“There is only one way that we will address that: government, business—big and small—and individuals working cooperatively together to take up this challenge. I think we’re making big inroads.”

Thriving online economy

Google Australia’s Public Affairs Officer Samantha Yorke said Stay Smart Online Week was incredibly important to Australia’s small business community.

Ms Yorke referred to a study by Deloitte’s, which shows that small businesses taking advantage of the internet were growing two times faster than those not online, and were four times more likely to be hiring new staff. 

“This is a thriving economy within Australia. I think we all know that,” Ms Yorke said.

“It’s clearly very important that these businesses be online, but critical that they are protecting themselves in being so.”

Stay Smart Online Week

In 2017 the focus of Stay Smart Online Week is simple steps to online safety.

The five simple steps are:

  • limit the personal information you share online
  • create strong passwords
  • regularly update software and install anti-virus software on all devices
  • avoid online scams by watching out for suspicious messages, links and fake online shopping sites
  • backup regularly in case you lose access to your data.

More information

Keep up-to-date on what’s happening during Stay Smart Online Week 2017 by checking out our Facebook page. You can also sign up to our free alert service.