Just about everything is moving online these days, and so is Australia. As our online presence grows, so does Australia’s digital economy. Nearly three-quarters of adults in our country claim to have benefited greatly from moving online.
With one third of Australians over the age of 14 accessing the internet via their mobile phones, it’s not surprising that individual users spent an average of 81 hours online during June this year. The Australian Communications and Media Authority recently released a report titled Australiaâ€™s progress in the digital economy: Participation, trust and confidence. The report highlighted that use of the internet is continuously increasing across all age groups, with nearly two-thirds of Australians claiming they now feel confident to do anything they want online.
Shopping-related activities are up 27% from June 2011, and average downloads per internet subscriber have increased substantially from 25.14 GB to 34.44 GB. Not only is individual usage up, but Australians as a whole downloaded 421,147 terabytes of data in the June quarter of 2012 – an increase of 52% from the same time last year. Also, 71 per cent of adult Australians were using cloud-based apps as at May 2012.
We can see from ACMA’s report that most Australians are taking precautions
- 82% regularly download security software for their computer
- 79% do not share any personal information online outside their circle of family and friends
- 78% will only make online purchases through secure e-commerce sites
It’s not all fun and games and shopping, however. More than 3 million Australian internet subscribers have experienced a malware virus, 1.2 million have experienced credit card fraud, and over half a million have responded to an email soliciting personal information or money.
The general consensus is that the benefits far outnumber the risks, but it is important to keep them in mind. So how can we combat these risks? Constant vigilance and risk awareness, according to ACMA.