Six in 10 New Zealanders are much more concerned about data theft than terrorism, according to the 2014 Unisys Security Index.
The top two areas generating the highest concern in the survey are related to data security, with 62 per cent of New Zealanders extremely or very concerned about unauthorised access to their personal information, as well as other people obtaining or using credit their card details
This was followed by computer security in relation to viruses and unsolicited emails cited by 46 per cent of respondents, and shopping or banking online cited by 41 per cent.
In comparison, only 33 per cent of Kiwis are seriously concerned about threats to national security, including terrorism and war.
The overall Unisys Security Index for New Zealand in 2014 is 137 out of 300, reflecting a moderate level of concern, says Unisys. However, it is 31 points higher than Australia’s index of 106, driven by the increases in concern about data and Internet security.
The Unisys Security Index is an annual global survey into the attitudes of consumers on a wide range of security issues. The New Zealand component of the study covered 511 adults aged 18+ who were interviewed in March.
Steve Griffin, manager, Unisys New Zealand, says New Zealand has recently been impacted by a number of local and international data breaches – both accidental and malicious. “So it is no wonder that they are most concerned about unauthorised access to their personal information and financial details and are somewhat wary of Internet security and shopping online.".
He says the survey results underscore that more needs to be done to communicate to New Zealanders the security initiatives undertaken on their behalf by organisations they deal with.
He cites the recently proposed changes to the New Zealand privacy legislation to include mandatory data breach notifications, which would increase the incentive for organisations to proactively identify and address potential data breach risks in order to protect the information in their care.
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