Putting cyber security measures in place is a fundamental part of living in an increasingly digitally-connected world.
In order to educate the community about the risks of hacking and phishing scams and to increase the community's cyber security, Ballarat police's proactive unit will host a cybercrime forum next week.
The forums will come just after stay smart online week (October 7-13), which is encouraging Australians to 'reverse the threat' of cybercrime.
Australians are being encouraged to take control of their online identities by reviewing privacy settings, learning how to stop phishing scams, creating strong and unique passwords and turning on two-factor authentication.
It comes after the Australian Cyber Security Centre released the results of a survey indicating the prevalence of cybercrime earlier this week.
The results highlight that 13,500 reports have been made to the centre's online portal since July this year - that's one report every ten minutes - with the largest proportion of reports coming from Victoria.
The most common type of cyber crime reported was online fraud, such as people clicking links claiming to be from their banks, with others being duped into wiring money overseas to people they believed they were in relationships with.
These types of offences were closely followed by identity-related offences.
According to the results of the survey, in which 1000 people were interviewed, people lost an average of $700 to cyber crimes.
Ballarat police's cybercrime forum will be broken up into two free sessions.
The morning session will be presented by Leading Senior Constable Des Hudson and will cover general online safety, while the evening session will provide cyber security information for small businesses.
The evening session will include a presentation from certified ethical hacker Daniel Weis, who will give an insight into how easily poor security measures can make a person or business a target to being hacked or scammed and what they can do to increase their privacy.
It comes after a number of regional Victorian hospitals - Gippsland, Geelong and Warrnambool - were impacted by a ransomware attack last week, while Australian National University was also the victim of a sophisticated cyber attack late last year.
Leading Senior Constable Donna Parsons said hacking and phishing could affect anybody connected online as could the likes of dating scams, though they were often under-reported due to people feeling embarrassment or shame at the fact they had been scammed.
"Statistics show everybody is vulnerable and can be caught out through hacking and phishing scams," she said.
Leading Senior Constable Parsons said the proactive unit would be hosting the forum to increase community knowledge about how hackers work to allow for proactive measures to be put in place to increase the city's cyber safety.
Bookings are essential at Eventbrite or contact the proactive unit at Ballarat West Police Station on 5338 9221.
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