InternetNZ has released the results of its second annual survey of New Zealanders’ views on and use of the Internet, saying it shows fake news and cyber security to be areas of significantly growing concern.
UMR Research surveyed 750 New Zealanders aged 18 and over for InternetNZ. Unprompted, thirty eight percent cited threats to the security of their personal data as their most significant concern, up from 27 percent last year. When prompted 64 percent cited fake news as their biggest concern, a 13 percent increase from last year and the largest increase in the areas of concern tested.
The survey estimated that 93 percent of New Zealanders now have internet access, a figure unchanged from last year. InternetNZ deputy CEO, Andrew Cushen, said there was a small percentage that would never want access but also that internet access levels were much greater when earnings rose above $50,000 per year, indicating that affordability was still an issue.
The top five uses for the Internet were largely unchanged from 2016 with social media topping the list at 50 percent, up two percent. However entertainment (streaming and gaming) at 34 percent up from 27 percent, has replaced communicating with people (down one percent to30 percent) in the number three spot below getting information and learning.
Banking remains in fifth position with only 17 percent citing it as a top five usage (one percent up from 2016). Cushen said it was surprising that usage of banking was not higher.
Informing InternetNZ’s priorities
Cushen summed up the survey’s findings saying they would inform much of InternetNZ’s work over the next 12 months. “You will see these numbers on everything we talk about. When we talk about the digital divide, which we will do later this year, you will see this data. When we talk about copyright, which will be the next paper we release we will use this data.”
He listed InternetNZ’s three priorities for the next 12 months as being:
- mapping digital divides to help solve them and influencing telcos for fair prices for great broadband;
- encouraging the use of two factor authentication and developing a framework for improving online trust;
- shaping copyright policy to protect creative potential and encouraging and rewarding creative use of the Internet.