Our concerns about security on the net!.... and who we trust

Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with our stressing that everyone should guard against their personal details being so readily available to hackers and cyber attacks, fraud and ransomware, amongst other things.Some interesting results emerge from a survey in Australia, dealing with privacy, as reported in Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey 2017:Biggest privacy risksIn 2017, Australians believe the biggest privacy risks facing the community include:

  • online services, including social media sites (mentioned by 32%)
  • ID fraud and theft (19%)
  • data security breaches (17%)
  • risks to financial data (12%).

This result is largely stable compared to responses received in 2013.The majority of Australians claim to be more concerned about the privacy of their personal information when using the internet than five years ago (69%), a consistent finding compared to the last two surveys. A new question this year revealed that more than eight in ten (83%) believe the privacy risks are greater when dealing with an organisation online compared with other means.Personal information people are reluctant to provideThe four pieces of information that Australians are most reluctant to provide remains stable:

  • financial details (mentioned by 42%)
  • address (24%)
  • date of birth (14%)
  • phone numbers (13%)

TrustThe community was asked how trustworthy they considered 14 different types of organisations.The highest levels of trust were recorded for:

  • health service providers (79%)
  • financial institutions (59%)
  • state and federal government departments (both 58%).

The industries with the lowest levels of trust include social media (12%) and e-commerce (19%).Australians will avoid dealing with organisations due to privacy concerns. The difference between the percentage of people who will avoid private companies and government agencies has widened slightly.In 2017, one in six (16%) would avoid dealing with a government agency because of privacy concerns, while six in ten (58%) would avoid dealing with a private company, a 42 point gap. By contrast, there was only a 37 point gap (23% vs 60%) in 2013.