Yikes: 60% of Aussies Aren’t Concerned About Giving Away Their Personal Info Online

In the last little while, a whack of Aussie businesses have been the victim of cyber attacks. Optus, Telstra, Medibank, and EnergyAustralia, amongst others, have all recently been confirmed to have had some sort of security breach. 

Moreover, on a related note, the number of cyber attacks happening in Australia has gone up this year. By a lot. According to research by Imperva, between July 2021 and June 2022, Australia experienced an 81% uptick in cybersecurity incidents.

“Cyber criminals are targeting the personal data of Australians for financial gain: To sell, to hold to ransom, or to commit financial fraud and scams,” said Reinhart Hansen, Imperva’s Director of Technology.

“During the pandemic, many organisations inadvertently created more opportunities for these bad actors. Many rushed their online implementations and transformation projects, taking shortcuts that left them vulnerable to exploitation.”

Despite this, many Australians are still happy to give corporations their online data. This can be demonstrated in the findings of Money.com.au. The organisation asked an independent panel of 1010 Aussies how they felt about giving companies their personal data and the results are grim. 

According to Money.com.au, 60% of its respondents were comfortable or indifferent about giving their personal info to a large corporation when signing up for a service. On average, 40% of these folks were comfortable giving a company their date of birth, while 26% were comfortable giving their home address.

Related: Optus Cyber Attack — What Can You Do About Your Data?

Related: A Lot of Games Are Collecting Data on Your Kids, Says a New Study — Here’s How to Avoid It

“I am surprised by the level of comfort that the majority of survey respondents have around sharing their private information. Considering recent major customer data breaches, I think we need to start questioning why some service providers request personal information that is not relevant to their provision of the service,” said a spokesperson for Money.com.au, Helen Baker.

“It may feel ‘safe’ to share personal details such as date of birth, gender, and home address, but a company holding a combination of these can leave individuals vulnerable in a data breach. Malicious hackers, if armed with a few personal details about an individual, can steal their identity, sell their identity, create fake accounts or passports or incur debt on behalf of the individual.”

If you want to protect yourself better on the internet, get a password manager, turn on two-step authentication, and maybe lie about some of the info that you’re providing online.

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