Help stamp out cybercrime with ACORN

ALIA is pleased to support ACORN, the Australian Government's Cybercrime Online Reporting Network.

You can help by spreading the word:

Launched in November 2014, the ACORN is a collaboration between the Australian Government and all state and territory police agencies, which makes it easier for people to report cybercrime, and provides a stronger mechanism for police to manage cases and identify trends. ACORN reports are already helping to build a much-needed national intelligence database of cybercrime, which will help make Australia a harder target in the future.

Over 10,000 reports were lodged with the ACORN within the first three months, which hints at the prevalence of cybercrime in Australia. The majority of complaints relate to online scams and fraud, and online trading issues affecting those who buy and sell items over the internet. 

As libraries, we can play an important role in raising awareness of cybercrime and how to report it, because our users are vulnerable. Free Wi-Fi spots are an attractive target for cybercriminals seeking to steal personal information such as passwords and banking details. Young people are prolific users of social networks where cybercriminals can bully or harass; older Australians can often be vulnerable due to a lack of experience online; and those between 25 to 40 years are the most active in the digital economy making them most likely to be affected by cybercrime. All of these groups turn to us for advice and support.

One of the most important weapons we have to combat cybercrime, is not only a computer literate public, but also a cyberliterate public. So training courses available at libraries offer a valuable service in educating internet users on how stay safe online, how to engage in the digital economy and how to report an incident when it occurs.

Innovative programs such as eSmart Libraries are already empowering communities with tools and resources to stay safe in the online world. The ACORN complements this and other educational initiatives as a user-friendly mechanism to report online crime and to learn more about the types of activities that constitute cybercrime.

The ACORN website has valuable resources available that can be distribute throughout various channels within libraries, including PowerPoint slides that can be inserted into any computer/internet training course delivered. 

With increased community awareness, and stronger reporting and intelligence frameworks such as the ACORN, a rise in cybercrime can be prevented.

For more information or to download ACORN resources for your library, visit the website at www.acorn.gov.au