More than 80 per cent of Kiwis who use the internet have experienced a cyber security breach, but only 39 per cent have then changed their behaviour online.
Research commissioned by the National Cyber Policy Office (NCPO), part of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), also found that 35 per cent of online Kiwis hardly ever change their passwords, and 34 per cent don't have passwords on their smartphones, despite the high risk of devices being misplaced or stolen.
NCPO director Paul Ash says despite understanding that cyber security attacks are a real threat, 26 per cent of Kiwis don't actually believe they're at risk.
"We live in a cyber society where the internet is constantly at our finger tips. Through a variety of online devices, we're able to enjoy a raft of benefits, from online banking and shopping through to viewing our favourite television shows and movies.
The research was undertaken for Connect Smart Week, a Government-led initiative launched today by the minister for communications and IT, Amy Adams to raise awareness of cyber security and promote ways for people and businesses to protect themselves online.
According to a statement, the Connect Smart website, will become the Government's front door to cyber security advice, pointing home users, small businesses and schools towards information and resources that will help protect themselves, their businesses and students online.
"Connect Smart is about encouraging Kiwis to embrace those benefits, while also bearing in mind the inherent risks that come along with using the internet. We hear about horror stories all the time but even so, it's clear a lot of us aren't taking basic measures to protect ourselves online," said Ash.
"Improving your cyber security does not have to be expensive or complicated. Taking basic steps like using strong passwords and ensuring your software is always up to date can help to protect you and your personal information. Making yourself less vulnerable has a knock on effect of helping protect all your contacts — your friends, your family and your business relationships," he added.
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