Australians are complacent about security, says PayPal

Macworld Australia Staff
20 May, 2013
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Australians are becoming complacent with personal information they use online, according to new research from PayPal Australia in support of National Cyber Security Week.

PayPal Australia’s research notes that, while Australians are quick to adopt new technology, there is a gulf between what consumers know and what they believe they know.

After interviewing 1000 Australians who own a computer and a smartphone or mobile device, the research found 55 percent of respondents were unsure how websites used their personal information.

Almost one in three of those surveyed were unsure how to distinguish between safe and scam websites, and 23 percent said they, or someone they know, had fallen victim to online scams.

In a press statement, PayPal spokesperson Adrian Christie said that “while Australians have become more comfortable browsing, shopping and connecting online, they are often unaware of the size and impact of their digital footprint”.

“Our research found that 75 percent of Australians surveyed said they were concerned about the amount of information they share online, yet we are seeing a strong disconnect between what consumers know and what they think they know.”

PayPal’s research highlights the social network knowledge gap of the Australian public, with a large number of those questioned uninformed about the privacy risks with social media use.

“According to the survey results, 81 percent of respondents said they have a log in for a social networking site but only 27 percent believed that in doing so they were sharing personal information, demonstrating a clear perception gap in what consumers think they are sharing online,” PayPal said in a statement.

“Additionally, 95 percent of respondents said they had a log in for their email accounts but only 43 percent thought they were sharing personal information.”

In a July 2012 report, the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) said 56,859 phishing sites were detected in a one-month period – marking an all-time high in phishing websites.

National Cyber Security Week runs from 20 May until 24 May.

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