Australians worried about identity theft and fraud

Monday, 20 April, 2009

Australians are looking for more assurance that their personal, financial and other information is protected against fraud in troubling economic times. The majority of Australians say they believe the current economic crisis will increase their level risk of identity theft and related crime.

The results are from new research released as part of the Unisys Security Index  which shows that concerns about internet security have risen amongst Australians.

In the data released today, 63% of Australians said they believed their personal risk level of identity theft and related crime would increase as a result of the global economic crisis. Only 3% of Australians believed their level of risk would decrease.

Reinforcing these results was a 7-point increase in the internet security index and a 4-point rise in concern about financial fraud, which helped move the Unisys Security Index slightly higher to 115 for the first survey for 2009.

“The global economic downturn is clearly starting to bite. The latest Unisys Security Index shows an increase in concerns about the security of online activities such as shopping and/or banking as well as growing concern about financial fraud; both issues which people perceive to be a greater risk in a declining economy,” said Vice-President and General Manager of Unisys Asia Pacific Andrew Barkla.

“In fact, two of the top three security issues of concern for Australians are directly related to identity theft and crime:

  • Other people obtaining credit card/debit card details
  • Unauthorised access to or misuse of personal information
  • Australia’s national security in relation to war/terrorism

“Regardless of the reality of actual risk, it is a time in which Australians need greater overt assurances that their private and personal information is securely protected against fraudulent and criminal activity to build confidence in the measures that are in place,” said  Barkla.

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