Cybercrime Content

Crime Stoppers Victoria has prepared content that we encourage community groups to share with their members through newsletters and websites. It is so important that everyone gets the message, and we all have our part to play.

For more from the Crime Stoppers Victoria cybersafety toolkit – click here

Article 1 – Basic online security safety

Every day we follow basic habits, mostly without thinking, to protect ourselves.

We wash our hands after visiting the bathroom.
We put the seatbelt on in the car.
We lock our front door when we leave the house.

Today is the day, if you haven’t already, to apply some basic habits to your online safety.

The team at Crime Stoppers visited the Australian Cyber Conference to speak to the experts. We asked them “If you could tell your grandmother to do one thing to make her safer online, what would it be?”. The majority of delegates gave the same, simple answer: use a strong password.

Hands up if you are still using the same couple of passwords as you thought up 10 years ago. Chances are it is between 6 and 8 characters and might use one digit and one symbol. Times have changed, with hackers now using algorithms that make light work out of weak passwords.

A strong password is a long password. For a Google password, it can be as long as 100 characters. You don’t even have to use numbers or symbols (but they are a real bonus).  You can even use spaces (but not at the beginning or end of the password).

To help you remember, and to keep it unique, Google advise using:

A lyric from a song or poem
A meaningful quote from a movie or speech
A passage from a book
A series of words that are meaningful to you
An abbreviation: Make a password from the first letter of each word in a sentence

Examples for music lovers

Neil Young – Old Man
24andthere’ssomuchmore

Britney Spears – Toxic
2HIGHcan’t comedown

Examples for lovers of literature

Shakespeare – Richard III
ThatIwillshortlysendthysoul2Heaven.

Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice
Vanity&prideRdifferentthings

At Crime Stoppers Victoria, we have prepared a toolkit of simple cybersafety advice for you to learn from, and most importantly, share with those you care about who may not be cybersavvy. It’s time to shutdown cybercrime, please visit www.crimestoppersvic.com.au/cybercrime

Article 2 – How cybercynics can support their naïve counterparts with online security

The internet has brought us lots of great benefits. You can keep in touch with family and friends using social media. You can do your banking without queuing up at a bank. Some people even manage to meet the love of their life online.

The internet also has its downside, it has created an environment where fraudsters and scammers can flourish. Many of us ‘digital natives’ have an inbuilt scepticism for what we see and hear online. We don’t believe the unclaimed Range Rover giveaway on Facebook, or the dodgy-looking email from our bank. There are still many (surprisingly many) people whose naivety makes them vulnerable to scammers.

They might post ‘nothing to lose’ when sharing a post about a RV giveaway. The truth is, they are revealing their naivety and end up on a list of people who could be potential victims. And that’s before the RV giveaway page morphs into a page spamming people with sales of fake pills or sunglasses.

Being naïve isn’t the same as being stupid. A person who is naïve is a person who is less afraid of life. A person who is stupid makes mistakes despite knowing the risks. As cybercynics we need to help our naïve friends and family, by warning them of what a potentially dangerous place the internet can be.

Ways to help

  1. Show that you care by printing out this article and giving it to them. Use it as the basis for a discussion into online scammers and how they operate.
  2. Remind them that because they might be naïve online, it doesn’t mean they are stupid.
  3. Offer to check suspicious emails or websites for them if they are unsure. Tell them it is better to be safe than sorry.
  4. If you see them make cyber-mistakes by liking fake pages on Facebook let them know! “I can’t believe thousands of people have liked this page/post. I’m 99% sure it’s a scam. Best to unlike and delete your comment 😊” (emojis make everything better)

At Crime Stoppers Victoria, we have prepared a toolkit of simple cybersafety advice for you to learn from, and most importantly, share with those you care about who may not be cybersavvy. It’s time to shutdown cybercrime, please visit www.crimestoppersvic.com.au/cybercrime

Article 3 – Five ways to make an online scammer happy

  1. Use a simple password.

If your password is shorter than 10 characters, you’ve made a scammer happy by making it easier for them to hack. Use a longer password with a few special characters thrown in to make it more random.

  1. Don’t use two-factor authentication

Two factor authentication is a second layer of security that some websites use; usually after logging in the website will send a code to your phone. Not all websites that have this make it mandatory. Choose to make your account safe, and ensure it is switched on.

  1. Letting yourself get panicked

“Your debt to the tax office is still outstanding. If you don’t pay immediately you will be arrested.”
“Our system shows your computer has a virus, we must log in to clean it immediately.”
“We have placed a hold on your credit card, please click here to verify within minutes.”

If you believe any of the above scenarios could possibly be true, you should always verify directly with the source. Call the ATO or call your bank.

If you are worried about a virus on your computer, you can download trusted antivirus software like Kaspersky or AVG. If you are still feeling panicked, call a person you trust for advice.

  1. Not trusting your instincts

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. Yet sometimes, we allow ourselves to be convinced we’ve been presented with a deal too good to ignore. Trust your instincts, but better still, apply some logic. When is the last time you saw someone win a Range Rover by liking a page on Facebook?

  1. Believing you are too ordinary to be a target

Cybercriminals aren’t always syndicates of global geniuses. Cybercriminals can be a student who is making extra money in their spare time, or the mortgage broker trying scamming as a side hustle. The same applies to victims – they aren’t always large companies, or rich individuals. Most victims are everyday people living an ordinary life. No one is too small to be a target, so a commitment to even the most basic online security is a must for everyone.

At Crime Stoppers Victoria, we have prepared a toolkit of simple cybersafety advice for you to learn from, and most importantly, share with those you care about who may not be cybersavvy. It’s time to shutdown cybercrime, please visit www.crimestoppersvic.com.au/cybercrime

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