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The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated society’s reliance on digital technology.

People are spending more time online and are reliant on technology to perform a range of everyday tasks: from working, to socialising with family and friends, to attending medical appointments and purchasing groceries.

With more time spent online, Australians are increasingly vulnerable to cybercrime.

Victoria Police’s Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team received a 400% increase in reports of child abuse material related internet reports in June 2020 compared to June 2019.

The Australian Cyber Security CentreExternal Link found that more than 75% of pandemic-related cybercrime reports involved Australians losing money or personal information.11

According to the Australian Competition & Consumer CommissionExternal Link , Victorians reported around $49 million in losses to ScamwatchExternal Link in 2020.

This is more than double the loss reported in 2019.12

Vulnerability to cybercrime, particularly cyber-enabled crime such as cyber abuse and technology-facilitated abuse, has increased due to reliance and use of the internet during social isolation and work from home arrangements.

The Department of Home Affairs13

11 Australian Cyber Security Centre, 2021, ACSC Annual Cyber Threat Report: 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021

12 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Targeting Scams: Report of the ACCC on scams activity 2020, https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Targeting%20scams%20-%20report%20o…External Link

13 Department of Home Affairs, December 2020, Discussion Paper: National Plan to Combat Cybercrime.

Reviewed 15 November 2022

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