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Personal security is top priority

Personal Security Matters Most To New Zealanders According to Benchmark Unisys Security Index

Auckland, New Zealand - 5 September 2006 - More New Zealanders are concerned about identity theft such as the misuse of personal information and credit card fraud than they are over terrorism, war and epidemics according to a benchmark Unisys Security Index Survey.

Conducted by Consumer Link for Unisys, the Index has been developed as a regular measure of the levels of concern amongst New Zealanders towards a range of security issues, across four key areas national, financial, internet and personal security.

“The issue of security has changed dramatically over the last decade. In order for businesses and governments to respond to this changing environment, it is important to understand the levels and types of concern in the community towards security issues,” said Brett Hodgson, Managing Director, Unisys New Zealand.

Locally, the Unisys Security Index indicates that the number one concern is identity theft and misuse of personal information followed by fear of credit card fraud.

This would seem to suggest a level of consumer appetite for discussion on ways that security can be enhanced in the future.

Importantly, global research released by Unisys earlier this year indicates that most people are prepared to relinquish personal information if they see a clear benefit to them in terms of convenience.

Unisys has a global program of research in security and related issues. In creating the Unisys Security Index, the intent was to introduce into public discussion a regular measure of community sentiment in this complex area.

For the September quarter (survey conducted in August) the Unisys Security Index stands at 114 out of 300, indicating a reasonable level of comfort towards security overall.

The Unisys Security Index is achieved by averaging the results of the four key areas. It will be prepared every quarter, enabling trends and fluctuations to be monitored over time.
In the initial benchmark Index, the results are as follows:
• National Security - 107/300
• Financial Security - 127/300
• Internet Security - 103/300
• Personal Security - 120/300

Some additional indicators were that:
• Just over half (52%) of all New Zealanders said they were either extremely or very concerned about unauthorized access to or misuse of their credit/debit cards
• Five out of ten (54%) of those surveyed said they were extremely or very concerned about unauthorized access to or misuse of their personal information
• Two thirds of South Island respondents (67%) said they were really worried about unauthorised access to or misuse of personal information
• A third of all people (32%) said they were extremely or very concerned about meeting their essential financial obligations including mortgage payments, credit card debt and other bills
• 29% said they were extremely or very concerned about the threat posed by war or terror attack
• 1 in 3 were extremely or very concerned about a health epidemic
“The Unisys Security Survey and Index is a direct reflection of Unisys’ strategic focus on helping clients to achieve secure business operations,” said Mr. Hodgson.

“Collaboration on security initiatives can create convenience for consumers, reduce costs, promote commerce and improve delivery of public services,” he said.

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