FutureFive New Zealand logo
Consumer technology news from the future
Story image

New Zealanders unaware of common cyber scams, not taking basic precautions

By Shannon Williams
Thu 4 Nov 2021

Despite best intentions, most New Zealanders overlook key steps to protect sensitive data while working from home, leaving their personal information, and their employers, at risk.

That's the findings of the latest Unisys Security Index, which found that while two-thirds of New Zealanders (66%) say they are responsible for keeping their own data safe and secure while working from home, many are not aware of common cyber security risks.

The report found:

  • More than half (54%) are unaware of SMiShing when a scammer texts asking for personal or financial information;
  • 33% are not wary of clicking on links in a text message, email or social app;
  • 82% are not aware of SIM jacking when a fraudster gets your phone number transferred to a phone they control;
  • 74% dont know which organisation to report a scam to if they fall victim;
  • 42% say they are not as careful on their phone as on their laptop or computer when it comes to protecting their personal and financial details; and
  • One third (34%) admit they have downloaded or installed software, mobile apps or programs for work purposes that their IT department had not authorised or approved.
     

Yet, New Zealanders are very concerned about protecting their privacy and data security. In 2021, the top three security issues concerning New Zealanders are data/privacy related: Identity theft (52% of New Zealanders concerned about this issue), hacking and viruses (51%) and bankcard fraud (49%). Concern about hacking and viruses and identity theft recorded the greatest increases (+11 points and +9 points, respectively) over the last year. This marks a change of focus compared to 2020 when natural disasters, including pandemics, had been the top security concern for Kiwis.

"Employers rely on employees to do the right thing to prevent cyberattacks," says Gergana Winzer, industry director of cybersecurity, Unisys for Asia Pacific. 

"But this is a big ask when New Zealanders are being targeted by more ransomware attacks than ever before," Winzer says. 

"Moreover, the research shows that Kiwis are not attentive to cyber risks on mobile devices. Employers need to ensure that their security measures encompass mobile devices used for work even if they are owned by the employee. 

"Scammers tailor very sophisticated attacks that mimic organisations people trust in order to trick them into clicking on a link or downloading an app That may launch malicious code or cause them to unwittingly provide personal details. 

"And those details can be used for identity and financial fraud or to mimic their profile to access their employers systems."

Exploiting COVID-19

"COVID-19 creates new opportunities for criminals to take advantage of peoples trust in brands and responsiveness to familiar processes," says Winzer. 

"Home deliveries have increased markedly under COVID-19. CERT NZ recently warned of a malicious app that spread via links in text messages about parcel deliveries."

Winzer says there is a lot of focus on public and employee education campaigns to raise awareness of scams in order to avoid them. But education is only part of the solution - it must be repeated and continually updated to ensure people are alert to new sophisticated threats. 

"But humans will still make bad decisions accidentally or intentionally," she says. 

"So organisations also need a holistic approach to security that also includes processes, policies and technologies to make it extra hard for people to, without intending, do the wrong thing."

Security Linked to Employee Experience

New Zealanders gave a variety of reasons for intentionally installing unauthorised software and mobile apps: They wanted to use the same tools they use in their personal life for work purposes (39%); they needed it to do their job and their employer didn't provide a good alternative (38%); it was better than the tools their employer provided (35%); or for entertainment and personal use (33%).

"Security and employee experience are fundamentally integrated: employees who download unauthorised software risk creating unsecured links to devices and systems," Winzer says.

"But don't assume that shadow IT means you need to provide more tools. Look at what unauthorised apps are installed, and ask why: Is it really a gap in tools required to perform a job? Or is it because employees aren't aware of the functionality already available or are they simply reluctant to change from what they are familiar with? 

"Measure the adoption of approved tools including usability and experience to work out how to make them irresistible, to negate the temptation or need for individuals to install unauthorised software."

2021 Unisys Security Index: 15 Years and Counting

The 2021 Unisys Security Index for New Zealand, the overall measure of security concerns of the New Zealand public, is 140 out of 300, up four points from 2020 and the highest since 2017. Even so, it is the fourth lowest level of concern of the 11 countries. The study is the longest-running snapshot of consumer security concerns conducted globally. The 2021 Unisys Security Index surveyed 11,000 consumers in 11 countries, including 1,000 in New Zealand, in July 2021.
 

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Malware
Research shows attacks on the gaming industry are getting worse
Web application attacks in the gaming sector have grown by 167% from Q1 2021 to Q1 2022, according to new research from Akamai.
Story image
Phishing
Norton research finds NZ threat landscape diversifying on social media
Norton's quarterly report has highlighted the seriousness of the threat landscape in New Zealand.
Story image
Tablets & laptops
Hands-on review: Xencelabs Graphic Display Tablet
Xencelabs seemed to show up out of nowhere on the market. I had no idea who they were or what they were about, but I was very intrigued.
Story image
Tablets & laptops
Chromebook and tablet shipments see another rapid decline for the year
According to research from Canalys PC Analysis, Chromebook and tablet shipments have fallen for the fourth quarter in a row for Q2 of 2022.
Story image
Gaming
Chorus announces Hyperfibre sponsorship deal with NZ Esports
Chorus has put its support behind New Zealand's Esports community with a newly announced three-year Hyperfibre sponsorship deal with NZ Esports.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: James Donkey RS4 Knight Wireless Gaming Keyboard
I have always liked mechanical keyboards, and this is no exception. I find the action much easier to use than the modern keyboards with limited travel.
Story image
Printers
Comedy legend Jimeoin fronts Epson advertising campaign in NZ and Australia
According to Epson the company’s EcoTank models now account for 74% of all printers sold in the category in New Zealand, alone.
Story image
Gaming
Logitech G’s new Aurora collection looks to help change gaming stereotypes
The company’s new Aurora collection is designed to be gender inclusive, not gender exclusive, addressing the needs and wants of women gamers while also still appealing to a wider general audience.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle
This year's major expansion to The Elder Scrolls Online, Zenimax Online's acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game, takes players to the land of the Bretons: High Isle.
Story image
Virtual Reality / VR
Virtual reality app reduces phobias through NZ trial
"With this VR app treatment, trialists had increased control in exposure to their fears, as well as control over when and where exposure occurs."
Story image
Gaming
Game review: Disgaea 6 Complete
Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny originally came out in 2021, and more than a year later, the game has now been re-released.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: TCL 30 SE mobile phone
TCL continues to provide consumers with budget phones that still pack a punch with the TCL 30 SE mobile phone. 
Story image
Wireless
Wave Audio spices up portfolio with first ever party speaker
Australian-based pioneers Wave Audio are enhancing their extensive range of groundbreaking new audio products by adding one of the most versatile speakers on the market to their growing portfolio.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series
If there's something missing in today's gaming industry, it's the wonderful discovery of finding new games for hire at your local video rental store. I remember my family hired out the first Klonoa game for the PSOne back in 1997, and it was a blast to play as a kid.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: Logitech Astro A10 Gen 2 wired headset
We get our hands on this incredibly good value for money headset for use in wired environments.
Story image
Planning
Digital key for smart investment in public infrastructure for NZ cities
Major public infrastructure projects can better manage risks of cost overruns and delays if they deploy data and digital tools at the earliest planning stages.
Story image
Tablets & laptops
Hands-on review: HP Evo Spectre X360 Flip Ultrabook 13.5” laptop
The Spectre comes with a keyboard that makes working for long hours something to be looked forward to. It has to be one of the best keyboards I have seen on a 13.5” laptop.
Story image
Cryptocurrency
Freelance tech jobs boom, NFTs and crypto plunge following crash
"Jobs for NFTs and crypto have dominated the past few quarters of our Fast 50 report, but as you can see they're now falling sharply."
Story image
Cloud
Microsoft and Auckland Transport announce new cloud agreement
Auckland Transport (AT) and Microsoft have announced a new cloud agreement aimed at promoting innovation, reducing costs and improving sustainability in transport services.
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review: SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Keyboard
SteelSeries has taken the design of its range of Apex keyboards to create a smaller version, the Apex Pro Mini. Techday’s Darren Price checks it out.
Story image
Dark web
Deep web vs dark web: NortonLifeLock explains the difference
NortonLifeLock managing director for APAC Mark Gorrie explains what you need to know about the deep and dark web and the pros and cons of both.
Story image
i-PRO
I-Pro officially marks launch of brand in Australia and New Zealand
I-Pro has officially launched in Australia and New Zealand, following a series of new releases as an entity that started in early April.
Story image
VPN
Hands-on review: Norton Secure VPN
Norton is obviously serious about your privacy. They have a “No-log” policy, which simply means that they do not track or store any of your on-line activities.
Story image
Cryptocurrency
Crypto app downloads down as market crashes - report
It appears the mass FOMO around crypto investing may be wearing thin with new data revealing a noticeable drop in crypto app downloads this year.
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review - Xbox Cloud Gaming
I've had the opportunity not just to access the game pass but also its new shiny feature, Xbox Cloud Gaming. In this review, we'll be deep-diving into just what Xbox Cloud Gaming is, how it works and, well, if it works.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: Jabra Engage 55 wireless headset
We get our hands on a German design professional headset that many knowledge workers could benefit from.
Story image
Networks
2degrees launches 13 new 5G coverage areas, network upgrades
2degrees has announced it has launched 13 new 5G areas in June, as the company continues its 5G rollout and investment.
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review: SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro gaming headset
SteelSeries, being no stranger to creating premium gaming peripherals, sent over its Arctis Nova Pro wired headset kit for us to take a look at.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Online bullying, harassment skyrockets since COVID outbreak
Harmful content reports have risen by over 25% since the outbreak of the COVID pandemic, according to Netsafe.
Story image
ASB
New ASB campaign helps young people better understand money
ASB is helping 18 to 24-year-olds take advantage of financial possibilities and better understand the world of money.
Story image
Gaming
Everything we know so far about NBA 2K23
As excitement for the next iteration of 2K Games’ NBA basketball series builds, some new information on the upcoming game, NBA 2K23, has been released.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: Wreckfest (Nintendo Switch)
Wreckfest is a fun racing game that came out for multiple different gaming platforms a few years ago. One of the best things about the game is that it's relatively cheap to buy if you own a PS4 or Xbox One console.
Story image
STM
Hands-on review: STM ChargeTreeGo portable wireless charger
We get our hands on the ultimate charging accesory for roadwarriors with a bunch of Apple devices.
Story image
Malware
Minors using Discord servers to spread malware for cash
Avast has discovered an online community of minors constructing, exchanging and spreading malware, including ransomware and a mix of information stealers and cryptominers.
Story image
Phone
Hands-on review: Obsbot Me AI-powered mobile phone mount
The Obsbot Me is an independently controlled portable mobile phone mount that can track its target without the need for software or a connection to a phone.
Story image
Smartphone
Xreart Studio - Turning old masterpieces into new ones
Xreart now specialises in transforming pre-loved smartphones, smartwatches and handheld game consoles into artistic conversation starters for your office, studio or man cave.
Story image
Projector
Hands-on review: BenQ GV30 portable projector
The BenQ GV30 is a portable projector that excels in many aspects but comes up short in a couple of others.
Story image
Fibre
Orcon brings faster fibre to Christchurch with Hyperfibre offering
Orcon has today launched the next generation of fibre speeds in Christchurch, bringing its Hyperfibre offering to the city.
Story image
Netsafe
Major media companies sign new online safety framework for Aotearoa
A new joint development between Netsafe and some of the world's leading social media companies is set to provide Kiwis with safer online experiences.
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on impressions with PlayStation Plus Deluxe
Finally, the new PlayStation Plus subscription tiers are available now to both New Zealand and Australian PS5 and PS4 gamers.
Story image
Wireless
Wave Audio delivers ultimate immersion with new wireless earbuds
Wave Audio, one of Australia's best new audio brands, has recently released a set of landmark noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds, the Immersive Pro.
Story image
Internet
InternetNZ appoints new chief executive. Will take over in October
InternetNZ has announced the appointment of its new chief executive, with Vivien Maidaborn taking over the role from interim chief Andrew Cushen in October.