InternetNZ research shows 94 percent of New Zealanders are concerned about the security of their personal data. Yet despite the high level of fear, researchers found only a fraction of users take practical steps to protect themselves from risk.
Only one-third of New Zealanders surveyed used account authentication, either two-factor or multi-factor. Meanwhile less than half of those questioned make regular data backups.
There is also concern about children being able to see inappropriate content online. The survey found this concerns 92 percent of those questioned.
There are positives. Nine out of ten respondents told InternetNZ the benefits of the internet outweigh the negatives. When asked to be more specific about those benefits, 83 percent named having access to information.
Commenting on the survey results, Andrew Cushen, InternetNZ's outreach and engagement officer says: "As more and more of our lives are spent on the Internet, being able to access information online has now become a necessity.
"This is why it’s so important that we continue to try and close digital divides in New Zealand. Every New Zealander deserves the opportunity to harness the power of the Internet".
Cushen says the fact that many people are not protecting themselves online is something we need to improve if New Zealanders are to stay safe online.
He says: "We all need to take personal responsibility for our safety on the Internet".
Cushen says the concern over inappropriate content is a reminder that families should talk to each other about the different types of content and what to do if they come across anything upsetting. He says; "We need to ensure that people of all ages feel safe on the Internet."
The data comes from an annual survey commissioned by InternetNZ and conducted by Colmar Brunton. The research examines local internet attitudes.