Anti-malware software creator Norton has released alarming data this morning surrounding a huge increase in Cybercrime over the course of 2017.

Norton, whilst reiterating the fact that Cybercrime is constantly evolving, defined Cybercrime as “a number of specific actions, including identity theft, credit card fraud or having your account password compromised” when undertaking this study.

Six million Australians have been the victim of Cybercrime in Australia throughout 2017, constituting a 13 percent increase from 2016 with a total of $2.3 Billion Dollars lost to thieves. This upward trend in cybercrime is the result of an ever increasingly connected world, a world in which cybersecurity has not been able to keep pace.

Victims of these crimes all share a similar profile, they’re everyday Joe Blow’s that usually have a single password for various different accounts. And there lies the problem, hack one and you hack them all.

Mark Gorrie, Territory Manager, Norton Business Unit, Symantec Pacific Region implored consumers to be constantly vigilant to the actions of these criminals.

“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. 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.”

As Norton points out in its report, the most worrying thing about these statistics is that some Australians who fall victim to these crimes still feel that they are able to adequately protect themselves even after its been proven that they can’t. “More than one in four (29 percent) of Australian cybercrime victims, despite their experience, had a higher trust in their own ability to protect their data and personal information from future attacks”. This stat once again highlights the disconnect that Mark Gorrie spoke of and the ‘it won’t happen to me’ mentality that Australian consumers are believing on a daily basis.

It won’t happen until it does folks. Protect yourselves online.