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First Nations Cyber Security Calls on Community to Protect Themselves Online Against Cybercrime

Australians are at greater risk of cybercrime than ever before. As the volume and sophistication of cyber attacks continues to increase, there is an urgent need for Australians to be savvy about their cyber security.

Badulaig descendant and cyber security expert Jack Reis, from Badu Island in the Torres Strait, is urging First Nations people and community to take some simple steps to combat cyber criminals and keep themselves safe online with the launch of this year’s Act Now, Stay Secure campaign by the Australian Government.

“These days, we rely so much on the internet for our everyday lives. From online banking to paying bills and listening to music online, it can be so easy to fall for a scam or think that our data is secure. I’m calling on all First Nations people, and non-First Nations people too for that matter … to learn some simple steps to help protect themselves online, and to also have a yarn with your kids, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunties and everyone in your community to make sure they stay safe online too,” Jack says.

“After all, you want to make it really hard for cyber criminals to steal your information, or your money!”

With the tagline ‘What are you risking online?’ the campaign empowers all Australians to build their knowledge and skills to better protect themselves online, at a time when one cybercrime is reported every 6 minutes, with ransomware alone causing up to $3 billion in damages to the Australian economy every year.

It’s important to emphasise that basic actions can have the most effective outcomes. The three simple actions that everyone is being encouraged to take include:

  • Set up multi-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security to your online accounts. Protecting your online accounts is a little like a game of basketball - the more defence the better. Multi-factor authentication is a multi-step process that means you must enter more than simply your login details to get into your accounts. For example, you might be asked to enter a code from your phone. This makes it much harder for cyber criminals to gain access to your accounts. Where possible, you should set this up across all of your accounts.

  • Install software updates regularly to keep your devices secure. Software updates are new, improved, or fixed versions of software or apps on your internet connected devices. Check that automatic updates are on so you are notified when an update is available. It’s important not to ignore these prompts to update - the longer you leave it, the more vulnerable you could be to a cyber attack.

  • Create strong and unique passphrases. It can be tricky to remember passwords, but they are vital when it comes to keeping your personal information, bank accounts and identity safe. Cyber criminals use sophisticated software that can guess billions of passwords every second, so simple passwords are far too easy for them to guess. The best defence is using a strong passphrase. A strong passphrase has 4 or more random words, is at least 14 characters long, and is easy for you to remember, but difficult for a cyber criminal to guess. A different passphrase should be used for every account, that way, if one account gets compromised, your other accounts remain safe. A password manager can help you with creating or storing unique passphrases. An example of a passphrase is: ‘Gamilaraay always people country’.

“These simple steps can stop cyber criminals in their tracks and help protect all of us online,” says Jack.

“As First Nations people, it’s instinctive to protect and respect our people, culture and Country. By educating ourselves and our communities about cybercrime and adopting these simple online practices to help keep us safe, not only are we protecting our individual rights, but we’re also keeping our communities, our culture and our First Nations stories safe too"

The Act Now, Stay Secure campaign is part of the Government’s broader vision to make Australia a more cyber secure nation and a world leader in cyber security by 2030.

As part of our Strategy, the Government will extend the reach and accessibility of cyber awareness programs that help Australians understand critical cyber security threats, and empower vulnerable communities to grow their cyber literacy

Quotes attributable to Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, Clare O’Neil:

“Our cyber challenges are really significant, but I want Australians to understand they have power here. The vast majority of cyber attacks can be prevented by taking some quick and simple steps,” explained Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, Clare O’Neil.

“We’re taking huge strides towards our goal of being one of the most cyber secure nations on earth by 2030, but individual actions will always form the foundation of that security.

“Talk to your family, talk to your community, we can all help each other to be more secure.”

For more information on how to protect you and your mob online, visit

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