Cyber security awareness improving but still a way to go

Connect Smart

New research from Colmar Brunton shows that Kiwis are becoming more aware of the importance of cyber security in their lives but still aren’t taking enough proactive steps to protect themselves online.

Despite 15% of people being directly affected by a cyber security issue and a further 29% knowing someone who has been a victim (a combined 42%), only one in four people are taking regular steps to manage their cyber security.

Paul Ash, Director for the National Cyber Policy Office, is pleased with the growing level of awareness amongst Kiwis of cyber risks.

“Helping to equip New Zealanders to manage the risks in an increasingly connected world is an exciting challenge, and it is pleasing to see Kiwis developing a better understanding of the dangers they encounter on a day-to-day basis.”

Colmar Brunton’s research shows that 93% of respondents are stopping to think before clicking links or opening attachments, and 70% ensure their software is up-to-date. However a passive approach to online security remains well entrenched.

“More than half of people are only taking steps when forced to – such as through automatic reminders and forced password changes – and most aren’t sure where to start when it comes to being more proactive,” says Ash.

The most common reason for people not doing more to protect themselves is not knowing where to turn for trusted advice, or finding the sources of information too confusing and technical.

“Connect Smart seeks to fill this void by providing relevant and easy to understand information to those that need it.”

In only its second year, Connect Smart remains new in the market however the research shows Connect Smart is having a positive effect with those it is reaching. Those who aware of the campaign are more likely to think and talk about cyber security, seek more information and take proactive steps to manage their risks online.

“Kiwis are showing a higher level of engagement with the topic and are actively seeking to protect themselves better online. This really validates the work undertaken so far by all the Connect Smart partners, and provides even greater motivation to continue developing and promoting Connect Smart as a trusted, authoritative source of information for all New Zealanders,” says Ash. 

View the full research from Colmar Brunton here.