Christchurch most security savvy, Perth most at risk of being ‘digitally duped’

Melbourne and Auckland, Sep 15, 2011 –/– Which Australian and New Zealands cities are most at risk of stolen identities, email security breaches, fraudulent credit card charges or lost personal data? Leading anti-virus and Internet security software distributor AVG (AU/NZ) Pty Ltd today announced the results of a survey* of online and mobile consumer behaviour across the five major cities in each of Australia and New Zealand to uncover who is most likely to be ‘digitally duped’.

AVG Technologies also conducted the survey in the US and UK and as a country, New Zealand had some of the lowest (best) scores across the survey.


In Australia, Perth topped the list, making it the most at-risk city based on responses to 10 questions. Brisbane was ranked second. The age-old Sydney-Melbourne rivalry is no closer to being solved following the survey, with both cities placed equal third. Adelaide ranked fifth to be the most security savvy city overall in the survey of 1251 people in Australia.

It was not all bad news for Perth. It recorded the second best result for backing up, with only 24 per cent of people surveyed saying they don’t backup their computer data, to be beaten only by Sydney (22 per cent). Adelaide fared worst in the backup stakes with one in three respondents (32 per cent) not backing up data at all.

People in Brisbane had the loosest lips in the survey, with 28 per cent of respondents admitting they have shared a password with at least one other person, compared to 22 per cent of those in secret-keeping Adelaide.

Melbourne had the second best password confidentiality result in the survey, with just one in four respondents (25 per cent) saying they had shared a password with someone else, to be beaten only by Adelaide (23 per cent).

On the flip side, Melbourne had the second worst record for backing up, with 27 per cent of those surveyed admitting they did not back up their computer data. Only Adelaide had a lower backup rate (32 per cent), with Sydney scoring best (22 per cent).

The survey revealed more people in Sydney (78 per cent of respondents) backup their computer data than those in any other Australian city. Melbourne had the second lowest backup rate (73 per cent), with Adelaide the worst (68 per cent).

People in Adelaide appear best at keeping secrets, with just 22 per cent of respondents having shared a password with someone else. Brisbane fared the worst, with 28 per cent admitting telling another person a password.

Despite being ranked Australia’s lowest-risk city overall, Adelaide had the worst record when it comes to backing up computer data: one in three people surveyed (32 per cent) said they don’t back up, compared to 22 per cent in Sydney.

Across the board, the survey showed many Australians are putting themselves at risk of identity theft, viruses and malware with poor PC security habits and a lack of comprehensive protection. Of those surveyed in the five Australian cities:

  • 22 per cent have been the victim of a phishing scam
  • 25 per cent have shared online passwords with at least one other person
  • 12 per cent do not run an anti-virus scan at least monthly
  • 73 per cent do not use an identity monitoring service or other form of identity protection service.


Of the 1100 consumers surveyed in New Zealand, 59 per cent used more than one password online; 54 per cent do not use a password on their mobile device and of those that do, another 87 per cent have not changed the password in the past year. Even more revealing, 74 per cent don’t take active measures to backup their phone’s data – many relying on their provider to restore their contacts should an accident occur.

Many consumers are also unknowingly putting themselves at risk of falling victim to identity thieves, viruses and malware with bad PC habits and a lack of comprehensive protection. Of the more than 1,100 New Zealanders surveyed online:

  • 30% don’t back up the data on their PC
  • 39% admit to sharing online passwords with at least one other person
  • 18% have been fooled by a phishing scam
  • 75% don’t use an identity monitoring service

The rankings of the five cities in New Zealand are (worst to best):

  • Auckland
  • Napier-Hastings Urban Area
  • Wellington
  • Hamilton Urban Area
  • Christchurch

While the threat is high for many in New Zealand, the report isn’t all bad. AVG found 69 per cent use two or fewer credit/debit cards each month for online purchases and more than 66 per cent of Kiwis online are checking their online banking accounts at least once per week for errors. In addition to a high level of caution around personal finances online, 82 per cent also claim to have never been fooled by an email phishing scam within the past year.


The survey highlighted some poor mobile protection habits. While most of those questioned (77 per cent) use three or more passwords online, less than one in five (18 per cent) had changed the password on their mobile device in the past year.

The survey also revealed different attitudes to backing up computers and mobile devices. While 74 per cent of those surveyed back up their computer data using cloud or another service, little more than one in three (36 per cent) back up their mobile devices.

“As more data is stored on more devices – and more cyber criminals attempt to get their hands on it – consumers need to be vigilant about safeguarding their personal information,” said Lloyd Borrett, Security Evangelist at AVG (AU/NZ).

“Consumers are getting better at recognising and addressing online threats, but it’s vital to ensure all your bases are covered. Taking some security measures and overlooking others – such as backing up your PC and not your smartphone – is like locking your door and leaving the windows open. Comprehensive online protection means covering all Internet-enabled devices – smartphone, tablet and PC.”

To help consumers protect themselves even more, AVG also unveiled AVG Internet Security 2012, a nimble, high-performance Internet security suite that answers consumers’ calls for simplicity, dependability and freedom of choice. Based on its connection-acceleration technology, light footprint and scanning speeds, AVG is at the forefront of security innovation and provides first-class protection without hampering today’s connected consumer.

“AVG is committed to helping consumers and businesses protect themselves and the things they care about the most,” said Borrett. “Computers and devices have become an extension of every individual at work and at play – and the more we protect these machines, the more we protect ourselves.”

In addition to installing a robust anti-virus program on all your online devices, AVG recommends the following simple steps to minimise the risk of fraudulent charges, identity theft and personal data loss:

  • Practice safe shopping – use one credit card with a low spending limit for all online purchases. Monitor this account regularly and flag any suspicious activity immediately to the bank or financial services provider.
  • Don’t pass on passwords – change passwords regularly; use variations for each online account; and never share them with others.
  • Back up PCs and mobiles – back up data on all your computers with external hard drives or a cloud-based solution – and don’t forget your mobile devices.
  • Protect data on the go – the more personal information shared via mobile devices, the more hackers will target these tools. AVG’s free mobile security application, AVG Mobilation for Android smartphones and tablet computers not only adds protection from malware, it can remotely wipe the device if it is lost or stolen.
  • Don’t take the bait – be wary of phishing scams. Never click on links in emails supposedly from banks or other financial institutions. Go directly to their URL and enter your login information from their web site home page.

Download AVG Internet Security 2012 and learn more about AVG’s ecosystem of security and Internet lifestyle products at

About the Survey
* AVG (AU/NZ) commissioned Research Now, a leading global online sampling and online data collection company, to survey some 1250 consumers in 5 Australian cities and some 1100 consumers in 5 New Zealand cities who own an Internet-connected device and have Internet-access at home between 5 August and 22 August 2011. Individuals in the United Kingdom and USA were also surveyed.

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About AVG (AU/NZ) Pty Ltd —
Based in Melbourne, AVG (AU/NZ) Pty Ltd distributes the AVG range of anti-virus and Internet Security products in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. AVG’s software suites provide complete real-time protection against the malware, viruses, spam, spyware, adware, worms, Trojans, phishing and exploits used by cyber-criminals, hackers, scammers and identity thieves. AVG protects everything important and personal inside computers — documents, account details and passwords, music, photos and more — all while allowing users to work, bank, shop and play games online in safety.

AVG provides outstanding technology and exceptional value for consumers, small to medium business and enterprise clients. AVG delivers always-on, always up-to-date protection across desktop, and notebook PCs, plus file and e-mail servers in the home and at work in SMBs, corporations, government agencies and educational institutions.

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