How to spot a deepfake


As AI becomes more widely used for both good and ill, consumers can expect to see increasingly sophisticated scams using AI.

Along with the text and email scams consumers are becoming adept at spotting, they can expect phone calls that use voice cloning and videos made using deep fakes. It's important for people to be aware of scams and to apply a new layer of protective measures.

how to spot a deepfake

There were nearly 94,000 cyber crime reports in Australia in 2023, according to the Australian Signals Directorate, or an average of one every six minutes.

That's up from one every seven minutes in 2022. Calls to the Australian Cyber Security Hotline were up 32% on the previous year, with identity fraud, online banking fraud and online shopping fraud the top three cyber crime types for individuals.

What these cyber criminals are seeking to do is access people's money or personal information, usually for financial gain, but sometimes to cause personal harm to individuals.

We recommend consumers stay ahead of cyber crime by accessing and following the advice on Three major areas to watch in the year ahead are:

  • As AI is increasingly used in scams, we have to be extra cautious about giving any information over the phone, even to someone you trust (their voice may have been cloned). Be on the lookout for a sense of urgency. If in doubt, hang up and call the person back or contact them through a different communication channel.
  • Be aware of cybersecurity for devices that are connected to the internet, which is now almost everything. Cyber criminals could intercept digital doorbells, baby monitors and everyday consumer goods to access other networks within an environment or to build a picture of an individual and their life. Using a strong passphrase, setting up an additional wi-fi network on your router for these devices, and disconnecting it from the internet (just because you can connect to the internet doesn't mean it has to be) are some of the steps consumers can take.
  • The healthcare industry is being targeted by criminals seeking access to people's private information. As much as we need to protect ourselves, there needs to be a balance because of the huge potential of digital and technological innovation, including AI, to improve people's lives. Wearables, such as rings, watches and devices that track health and biometric data, for example, can improve our wellbeing.

Cybersecurity must match digital and tech trends, not stymie innovation.

We tend to adapt to major societal shifts or technological developments, and I'd like to think the good guys will always come out on top.

We are seeing a more coherent and strategic approach from governments, and the community can be reassured by that.

As 2024 progresses, we will start to see further strengthening of broad cybersecurity protections for consumers across Australia.

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Meegan Fitzharris is the director of CyberCX. She is a former member of the ACT Legislative Assembly. Megan holds a Bachelor of Commerce (First Class Honours) from the University of Otago and a Master of Arts (First Class Honours) from the University of Auckland.