Unisys tracks increased security concern

Security index still below all-time high of December 2007

Kiwis are feeling more threatened by identity theft and other forms of online fraud, according to the latest Unisys Security Index report.

The report finds the majority of New Zealanders believe the current economic crisis will increase the risk of identity theft and related crime, according to Unisys.

However, at 124, the index remains off its all-time high of 139, recorded in December 2007. New Zealand also rates in the middle of the field internationally. Security concern is highest in Brazil, with an index score of 182, and lowest in the Netherlands, with 87.

Sixty seven percent of New Zealanders say they believe their personal risk of identity theft and related crime would increase as a result of the global economic crisis. Only 3% believe their risk would decrease.

The index found increased levels of concern over a range of issues including computer security, unauthorised access to personal information, the security of online transactions and credit and debit card fraud.

“Regardless of the reality of actual risk, it is a time in which New Zealanders 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,” says Mark Webber, security spokesperson for Unisys New Zealand.

Overall the April 2009 index recorded a 15 point increase from November last year to stand at 124 out of 300. That is 24 points higher than it was in May 2008, the lowest recorded in the Index's history, but still below its all-time high of 139 (see chart).

Index trends over time

“New Zealanders are expressing higher levels of concern at the start of 2009, particularly on questions relating to computer security, unauthorised access to personal information, security of online transactions and credit and debit card fraud," he says.

In the April 2009 index, increased concern was expressed across all four areas of security. National security increased 10 points to 106 while Financial security increased 14 points to 137. Internet security increased 18 points to 129 and personal security increased 15 points to 123.

The survey on which the index is based, was conducted nationally between 24 February and 2 March 2009 by Consumer Link. 506 people responded aged 18 years and over.

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