Guide to help Pearce businesses Stay Smart Online

Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, has welcomed the Coalition Government’s release of a new guide to help owners and operators of small businesses protect themselves against cybercrime.

“Cybercrime is no longer in the exclusive domain of the proverbial teenage hacker – cybercrime can reach out into the Pearce community,” Mr Porter said.

“The guide has been developed in response to online criminal activity which is estimated to cost Australian business over $1billion each year.

“Online criminals are increasingly targeting small businesses because it is easier to access their systems – the guide is designed to help small businesses set up basic online security practices to assist them in safeguarding against these threats.”

Research commissioned by the Department of Communications and the Arts about the online security practices of Australian small businesses found that only two per cent of small business operators reported that protecting their online business information was a priority.

The research also found that only a quarter of small businesses considered there was a risk of having their electronic system held to ransom and only 38 per cent considered phishing and scams were a threat.

60 per cent of businesses claim to be good at installing anti-virus software, however, only 48 per cent keep it up to date.

“In an increasingly complex environment where more and more of our daily lives and business transactions are being carried out online, it’s important to be aware of the new challenges we face and take some precautionary steps to mitigate against potential harm,” Mr Porter said.

“I am very glad that there is now some practical advice available for small businesses in Pearce to protect against cybercrime.”

The Stay Smart Online Small Business Guide has been developed by the Government in collaboration with Australia Post, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, the Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Westpac and Telstra.

Small business owners can download the guide and subscribe to the free alert service at: www.staysmartonline.gov.au