Important message for Tasmanians ahead of Stay Smart Online Week

Tasmanians are not getting the message about the importance of protecting themselves online, according to TasICT chief executive Will Kestin.

Speaking ahead of national Stay Smart Online week which began on Monday, Mr Kestin said many people within the state remain naive when it comes to the threat of cyber attacks.

“Most Tasmanians think it's something that happens to someone else, until it happens to them,” he said.

“Tasmanians wrongly believe the online space is inherently safe, yet we only see 10 per cent of it when most of us use it. 

“The other 90% is the dark web, which allows criminals to act anonymously and without being traced. 

“Much more educationally needs to be done for Tasmanians to understand the cyber security aspects of connectivity.” 

Much more educationally needs to be done for Tasmanians to understand the cyber security aspects of connectivity.

Will Kestin

This year’s Digital Inclusion report revealed Tasmanians had the lowest digital literacy in the country, with the gap widening between Tasmania and the other States.

Mr Kestin said the many facets of cyber crime mean a multi-layered approach is needed to ensure security.

“Cyber security education will only become more critical as cyber crime, image abuse and business digital transformations increase,” he said.

“Identity fraud is up by 80 per cent from 2015 and in 93 per cent of cases, hackers took just minutes to breach cyber security.

“We should be teaching coding, digital literacy and cyber security from primary school onwards.

“Cyber security is only one of the pillars to digital literacy which is critical for our engagement and success as a State.”

On Friday, the federal government announced new ThinkUKnow resources to coincide with Stay Smart Online Week, including two SOS guides providing practical advice for individuals and businesses to protect themselves online.

It comes after the passing of Carly’s Law in June,  which targets online predators for preparing or planning to cause harm to, procure, or engage in sexual activity with a child.