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New study finds Australians are more vigilant about online security 

New study finds Australians are more vigilant about online security 
New study finds Australians are more vigilant about online security 

A year after Australia’s series of largest data breaches, a new study by PayPal reveals that 74% of Australians are more concerned and vigilant about online security than 12 months ago.

According to government data, 40 breaches affected over 5,000 Australians in the second half of 2022. It’s a 67% increase compared to the first half. Five breaches from July to December affected over a million Australians. 

The findings

More than 1,000 adult consumers up to 75 years old, as well as 400 businesses, took part in the survey. 

It found that several bridges impacted almost half of the Australian population over a short period of just four months. 76% of those affected say the breaches caused harm. The PayPal study found that Australians have become increasingly concerned about cyber security. 

PayPal’s 2023 Security Research found top areas of concern include:

  • Scams becoming more sophisticated (65%), 
  • Personal details are available to criminals on the dark web (55%), 
  • Safety and security of personal data shared with businesses (52%), 
  • Companies having control over personal data and how it is used (51%)

Most affected age group

The PayPal survey found that people aged 57-75 were the most concerned about online safety the past year, with 77% reporting “heightened” cyber security fears. However, other age groups are also concerned.

Bolstering safety is also a top priority for many. The report indicates that 93% of the consumers who participated in the survey have at least taken one measure to keep themselves safer online.

This includes:

  • Treating calls, emails, and text messages with more suspicion (81%)
  • Enabling two-factor authentication (74%) 
  • Improving passwords (60%) 
  • Educating themselves with identifying scams (54%)

Precautionary measures

At least two in every five Australians say they have abandoned online purchases due to security concerns. 

PayPal Australia’s Daniela Fernandez says, “The breaches that impacted Australians a year ago were a reminder to all of us that we can’t be complacent when it comes to cyber security, especially as more aspects of our day-to-day lives shift online.” 

Top safety tips to follow

There are a few easy steps online users can take to ensure they don’t fall prey to scammers. PayPal says it’s vital that you regularly update your computer security with anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Also, use passwords, passphrases, and pins that would be difficult to guess, and don’t reuse the same password across multiple devices and services. 

For extra but necessary precautions, enable a multifactor authentication feature, if provided with one, to increase security. You must give two or more identity proofs to get access, such as a code sent to your phone or email.

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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