Security Market Segment LS
Thursday, 06 December 2018 10:56

Online banking threats top security concerns for many Australians: survey Featured

Online banking threats top security concerns for many Australians: survey Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Online banking threats are of a higher concern than malware and cryptojacking, but despite the concerns Australians are still storing financial records or financial information such as tax file numbers and bank details on their digital devices, according to a new security research report.

The research, covering 1000 consumers, by security firm Trend Micro, reveals that, as cyber threats become more prominent and cyber criminals become more strategic, 61% of Australians worry about online banking threats, 52.7% about malware, 36.3% with ransomware and 24.1% about cryptojacking.

And the research also found that slightly more than two thirds (66.9%) of Australians feel more concerned about their personal cyber security now than five years ago.

“Despite this, it’s clear they still need to get the basics right with respondents admitting to using the same password for multiple accounts (45.2%),” says Trend Micro, with the survey also showing that connecting to unsecure Wi-Fi networks (30.2%) and saving a pin or password in their phone (21.3%) are security concerns.

“Mobile and internet connectivity has given Australians more freedom than ever before to connect with friends and family, pay bills, watch videos and even meet new people. However, with an increased digital footprint, consumers need to not only be aware of the associated cyber risks, but also the importance of taking action to minimise these,” said Tim Falinski, senior director, Consumer, APAC at Trend Micro.

"Our research found that Australians tend to wait until their devices are compromised before taking action. Instead of a reactive approach to security, consumers should take proactive steps such as using biometric passwords, two-factor authentication and anti-virus software. These small actions will make a huge impact in protecting sensitive information and providing peace of mind to consumers.”

Other takeaways from the study include:

Despite being digital natives, millennials are more likely to drop the ball on cyber security than their older counterparts:

  • Twenty percent of 18-24 year-olds admit to using the same password for all their accounts, compared to just 3% of 55-64-year-olds.
  • Almost half of 18-24 year-olds (48%) keep sensitive financial details stored on their devices while just 33% of those 65 and older do.
  • Seventeen percent of 18-24 year-olds reported not taking any security measures for their devices, despite the majority (73%) experiencing an increase in concerns about cyber security over the past five years.

Physical security is still perceived as more important than cyber security

  • Despite the risks associated with digital devices being compromised, including potential identity theft and financial losses, consumers place greater importance on the physical security of their homes and possessions.
  • Respondents are more than twice as concerned about physically securing their home (57%) than securing their devices (27.9%).

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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