Cybercrime has affected one in five New Zealanders, but the number of people taking security measures is going down, according to a research out Monday.
The research found that 20 percent of New Zealanders had been affected by cybercrime last year, and this figure rose to 72 percent when spam and suspicious e-mails were included, Communications Minister Amy Adams said in a statement.
However, smart practice was slipping with just 64 percent of people updating or installing security software compared with 70 percent last year.
The proportion of people taking other security proportions, such as changing passwords, ensuring they used a secure connection, and checking social media privacy settings was also down.
Lack of knowledge remained a barrier to taking precautions, with 41 percent of those who did not regularly take steps say it was a barrier to doing so — up from 32 percent in 2014.
Only 17 percent of New Zealanders said they had received training or advice about cyber security at work despite grappling with cyber security issues, said Adams.
“At a global cost of around 600 billion NZ dollars (429.96 billion US dollars) a year, cybercrime is now bigger than the global drugs trade. All employers and employees should understand their role in protecting the information that belongs to their workplace,” said Adams.
“Phishing e-mails and ransomware are increasing, and employees are key to preventing security incidents in the workplace,” she said.
“It is imperative New Zealanders are aware of cyber risks and take simple steps to protect themselves, including creating strong passwords, keeping a look out for suspicious, unsolicited emails, and thinking before they click.”