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Top Security Issues For New Zealanders

News Release

Top Security Issues For New Zealanders

For two years New Zealanders have consistently ranked identity theft and financial fraud as top two security issues

Yet almost 24% of people use easy to remember numbers like a birth date for their PIN

For the last two years New Zealanders have consistently ranked identity theft and financial fraud as the top two security issues that concern them, according to trend analysis of Unisys Security Index™ findings, released to coincide with Privacy Awareness Week.

The results of the first Unisys Security Index were reported in September 2006, at which time 54 percent of those surveyed said they were extremely or very concerned about unauthorized access to or misuse of their personal information. The most recent Unisys Security Index of May 2008 found:
 An estimated 1.3 million New Zealanders are extremely or very concerned about other people obtaining or using their credit card details .

 An estimated 1.4 million New Zealanders are extremely or very concerned about unauthorised access to / or misuse of their personal information .

 Approximately 100,000 New Zealanders are extremely or very concerned about computer security.

Despite this high level of concern about threats to privacy, New Zealanders can do more themselves to protect their own information. Additional research, carried out in conjunction with the Unisys Security Index, found that individuals often make it easy for their private data to be stolen: nearly 1 in 3 New Zealanders said they never destroy bank or credit card statements before throwing them into the rubbish; 1 in 3 said that they never read privacy policies; and almost 1 in 4 used an easy-to-remember figure such as their birth date when asked to select a PIN .

“We’ve known for some time that New Zealanders are more concerned about identity related crime than they are about other security issues,” said Mike Webber, Manager Enterprise Security (Asia Pacific) for Unisys Corporation.

“Both public and private sector organisations are already investing in security and protection of customer details and other sensitive information. This is driven not only by the need to comply with legislative requirements, but also the recognition that consumer confidence and trust are key operational issues.

“What the high level of community concern shows us is that people want to be kept informed about the investments being made in security and why. Organisations need to be vigilant about educating consumers and creating awareness to support security initiatives. The pay-back comes with knowing that with the community appetite for security comes a greater willingness to embrace new privacy-enhancing measures.

“Of course there is only so much that an organisation can do to protect an individual’s privacy. Ultimately some very important steps are those that people need to take themselves to avoid being an easy target,” said Mr Webber.

Tips for individuals to protect their private data:

Always read and check your credit card and bank statements

Make sure that you can account for any expense on your credit card or bank statement, no matter how minor. It can often take victims’ months or even years to finally detect that they are being defrauded.

Regularly check your credit history report

Checking your own credit history is a simple way to catch financial fraud in its infancy
By regularly requesting an updated credit report you will be able to identity unauthorised activity undertaken in your name as early as possible.

Destroy sensitive documents

The sad fact is that ID Theft and financial fraud often begins in the rubbish. Paper statements provide important information about you, your address, your accounts and your bank balances – everything needed by a thief.

Get your statements electronically

Why not opt for electronic statements instead of having paper ones mailed to your home? That way you can check your balances and other financial information without having to dispose of them.

Lock your Mail Box

Keeping your mailbox locked is a first line of defence against financial fraud and identity theft. Stolen mail remains one of the most prevalent means by which identity theft occurs.

Know when mail hasn’t arrived

Knowing when important bills and statements arrive each month is an easy way of detecting mail theft or redirection when it starts. Make a note of when credit card bills, bank statements, mortgage loans and other important financial correspondences normally arrives, and check with your financial institution if you don’t receive them.

Always know who you are giving information to

Always insist on identity verification from people seeking your personal information.
Be aware that ID Thieves often gain important personal information from victims over the phone or internet.


© Scoop Media

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