Every year at this time, we tally up the stories that captivated your attention throughout the year.

With more than 1.2 million pageviews in 2020, many Information Age stories travelled the word, being posted on notable forums, including Reddit, and drawing large international audiences.

Here’s what you rated as our top reads for 2020:

1. Malware found in Chinese tax software

Australians were stunned and outraged to learn that tax software required to conduct business in China was riddled with malware, pushing this story solidly into the number one spot. Cyber security researchers found backdoors built in that would allow ‘a remote adversary’ to execute commands.

2. Australia slips further in internet speed rankings

In news unlikely to surprise any Internet user in Australia, our lucky country slipped into 68th place for fixed broadband speeds. Countries including India, Kazakhstan and Vietnam were found to have faster internet that us.

3. Toll Group recovers after ransomware attack

In the story that kept giving in 2020, the ransomware dramas of Australian courier and logistics company Toll Group took not one but two spots in our top 10 (see also no 8). This story covered how Toll was resorting to manual processes as it gradually returned to normal operation following a crippling ransomware attack.

4. Home Affairs exposes skilled migrant data

The government was left with egg on its face in May when it was revealed personal information of almost 800,000 prospective migrants to Australia was found online. The Skillselect platform was taken offline while the Department of Home Affairs investigated the matter.

5. The IT skills with the biggest shortages

We opened the year with a list of the top 5 digital technology skills that would be most in demand during the first six months of the year. Among them were full stack software engineers and cloud engineers.

6. How I scored a Global Talent visa

The story of how one American entrepreneur was able to secure the newly introduced Global Talent Independent visa – which comes with bonus permanent residency – struck a chord with readers curious about the process.

7. The smart contact lens that could change everything

Weather and traffic sent straight to your eyeball? A look at the tech of the future provided a fascinating insight into the development of smart contact lenses – certainly taking ‘wearable tech’ to a whole new level.

8. Toll Group data dumped on dark web

Toll Group had a shocker of a year, being breached not once but twice. After Toll Group was breached the second time, hackers boasted they had stolen 200GB of archived private data and began posting it on the dark web.

9. You’ll need a drone licence from July

Strangely, a story we published in April 2019 was just as popular in 2020, pulling in readers as it continued to go viral. The drone-flying community was not impressed with the news they’d need to register their devices and obtain a ‘flyer’s licence’ for all drones over 250g.

10. These are Australia’s highest paying IT jobs

Money talks so it’s no surprise IT professionals wanted to know which tech roles were the most lucrative. Enterprises architects topped the list, with software engineering manager and senior product manager coming in next.