Unisys report: taking the pulse of security concerns down under

Consumers in Australia are becoming more at ease with using digital profiles to communicate with government bodies than with businesses, a recently published report finds.

Unisys Security Index 2018 released last week suggests that a feeling of lacking control over personal identities are among chief security concerns for users down under, and it’s impacting on the way Australians conduct their online lives.

The study reveals the top four security concerns for Australians in 2018 are:

  • Identity Theft: 57% of Australians are extremely or very concerned about unauthorised access to, or misuse of, personal information
  • Bank Card Fraud: 52% of Australians are similarly concerned about other people obtaining or using their credit/debit card details
  • Internet Virus/Hacking: 53%of Australians are concerned about these issues
  • War or Terrorism: 48% of Australians are concerned about these issues

The Index finds that those aged between 18 and 24 have greater concerns than those aged over 55 years. While worries are the same for men and women, they are greater for those earning more money – a statistic that is the opposite of the situation for other Asia Pacific nations in the survey.

Tony Windever, VP and managing director at Unisys Asia Pacific said:

“This year’s Unisys Security Index shows that Australians are more concerned about data security issues such as identity theft, credit card fraud, internet viruses and hacking than about terrorism, natural disasters or personal safety.

“This has a direct impact on how comfortable consumers are in embracing digital services that involve sensitive personal information.”

The study also revealed how Australians feel about using digital identity verification technology on and offline. Most (65%) surveyed were more comfortable relying on biometrics such as fingerprints or facial scans which are more commonly employed at airports or by law enforcement agencies.

The figure contrasts with the 41% of citizens who say they are at ease with relying on the same technologies when using the services of financial service providers.

“For all of the digital identities we looked at, concern around data security is the top reason for not being comfortable using them. The results indicate Australians have a higher level of confidence in the government’s ability to keep their data secure,” Windever said.

“Even so, nearly one in three citizens (31%) are not comfortable with electronic health records due to concerns about data security or not being in control of their identities. And they are even less open to embracing digital identities to engage with banking or commercial entities,” he continued.

“This underscores the need for organisations to gain trust and build consumer confidence in the digital services they provide by not only showing how data is protected, but also having a clear and meaningful benefit that offers a compelling reason for people to use them,” he added.

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