NetSafe survey shows ignorance of IT security among NZ consumers

Poll carried out in conjunction with AVG shows only half have installed comprehensive antimalware

NetSafe and antimalware vendor AVG have released the results of a recent Cyber Security Survey. According to a statement from NetSafe and AVG announcing the results, "the survey is the first of its kind undertaken in this country to quantify New Zealanders’ perceptions of online safety and their use of protection mechanisms for their online activities."

More than 87 percent of the respondents believed they had adequate protection from online threats, yet only half had installed a combination of current, automatically updated anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall and anti-spam software to provide vital security against criminals and insidious malware attack.

Whilst concern about online threats was generally high, the survey revealed high levels of concern about online child predators (72 percent) and lower levels for identity theft, online scams, and computer security.

Nearly 30 percent of those surveyed encountered a problem with online security, with issues ranging from computer malware to having details hacked, or being a victim of fraudulent credit card transactions.

Accurate knowledge of online security risks and solutions was quite limited among the survey respondents.

According to the NetSafe-AVG statement, "Barriers to having adequate computer security also included perceived issues such as cost, time to implement and impact on Internet speed. With the survey revealing that most people look to their friends for information, they are leaving themselves open to the rapid introduction of new forms of online attack and criminal activity.

NetSafe executive director Martin Cocker says: “We recommend people have a look at sites such as The Orb, which provides an opportunity to report cybercrime and includes advice for keeping safe online.”

AVG Australia-New Zealand product evangelist Lloyd Borrett says in the statement: “Don’t forget, online safety doesn’t just apply to your PC or laptop — today’s smartphones and tablets are computers in your pocket, containing crucial personal information, and they need securing just as much as traditional computers.”

In today's Virus and Security Watch, there is an article on securing smartphones.

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