PayPal and Crime Stoppers have called for the public to reduce the amount of personal information they share online.
The call comes on the first day of National Cyber Security Awareness Week, and the release of research by the payments company into the perception of IT security with average internet users.
The research polled 500 Australian respondents earlier this month and found that 50 percent of users do not know how many web sites hold their personal details.
Of these respondents, a further 50 percent had details stored across more than five accounts, including social networking sites, online bank accounts, shopping sites and recruitment services.
Sixty percent of respondents had used a single password across multiple accounts, while 75 percent said they were concerned with the use of their private data.
“Many Australian consumers are unaware of the size and impact of the digital footprint they leave when interacting online,” PayPal Australia managing director Frerk-Malte Feller said in a statement.
“Consumers need to take stock of where their details are held online, and carefully consider the sensitivity of the information they are providing.”
Crime Stoppers chief executive Peter Price said education is key to helping the public to defend themselves against online crime. “Assessing with whom and where they are sharing their personal information is an important first step.”
Losses reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission from cyber crime last year topped $63 million.