More than 80 per cent of Kiwis who use the internet have experienced a cyber security breach, but only 39 per cent have then changed their behaviour online, according to research commissioned by the National Cyber Policy Office (NCPO), part of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC).
The research was undertaken for Connect Smart Week, a new Government-led initiative launched today by the Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Hon Amy Adams to raise awareness of cyber security and promote ways for people and businesses to protect themselves online.
National Cyber Policy Office Director Paul Ash says despite understanding that cyber security attacks are a real threat, 26 per cent of Kiwis don’t actually believe they’re at risk.
“We live in a cyber society where the internet is constantly at our finger tips. Through a variety of online devices, we’re able to enjoy a raft of benefits, from online banking and shopping through to viewing our favourite television shows and movies.
“Connect Smart is about encouraging Kiwis to embrace those benefits, while also bearing in mind the inherent risks that come along with using the internet. We hear about horror stories all the time but even so, it’s clear a lot of us aren’t taking basic measures to protect ourselves online.
“Improving your cyber security does not have to be expensive or complicated. Taking basic steps like using strong passwords and ensuring your software is always up to date can help to protect you and your personal information. Making yourself less vulnerable has a knock on effect of helping protect all your contacts – your friends, your family and your business relationships.”
The research also found that 35 per cent of online Kiwis hardly ever change their passwords, and 34 per cent don’t have passwords on their smartphones, despite the high risk of devices being misplaced or stolen.
The new Connect Smart website, connectsmart.govt.nz, launched today, is the Government’s “front door” to cyber security advice, pointing home users, small businesses and schools towards information and resources that will help protect themselves, their businesses and students online.
The website also features the new Digital Clans Quiz, sponsored by Telecom, providing a fun and interactive way for New Zealanders to learn more about online security.
“We encourage all Kiwis to give the quiz a go and find out which Digital Clan you fit in to. Everyone who takes part will then be offered some simple online security tips and advice tailored to their Digital Clan.”
The Connect Smart initiative has been developed in partnership with the public sector and NGOs, with support from Platinum Sponsors Dimension Data, Vodafone and Telecom, and Gold Sponsors ANZ, Datacom, Facebook, HP, Microsoft and Google.