New Zealand takes 'unnecessary risks' online

New Zealand takes 'unnecessary risks' online

New Zealanders are taking unnecessary risks online, according to the results of a newly released survey by AVG and NetSafe.

The survey analysed Kiwis’ perceptions of online safety and found that a large percentage does not do enough to protect their financial and personal information online.

Over 87 percent of the respondents in the NetSafe AVG New Zealand Cyber Security Survey 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.

According to NetSafe’s executive director, Martin Cocker, there is no room for the typical “she’ll be right” attitude in the online world. “While the vast majority of Kiwis are using their computers for an increasing variety of activities including online banking, buying goods and services, paying bills and checking emails, only a small percentage of respondents could describe how they were protecting those activities,” he says.

Nearly 30 percent of survey respondents said they have 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.

According to AVG’s security evangelist Lloyd Borrett, cybercriminals are increasingly sophisticated and, therefore, the threat to New Zealand users and businesses is more real. “Hackers go where the money is and follow the path of least resistance. We need to defend ourselves as users and as businesses against these cyber criminals,” says Borrett.

The AVG security evangelist believes the business of keeping people protected is also an opportunity for New Zealand resellers and they “are not taking enough advantage of it”. For Borrett, this issue gives resellers “the opportunity to become the CIO for the business” and can act as a relationship builder.

Cocker agrees and adds that the situation with resellers in New Zealand is “massively variable” with some doing a great job and others “totally leaving it out”. “Those doing a better job will rise to the top,” he adds.

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