Cyber Smart Week - doing your bit

Jordan Carter against blue wallA blog post by Jordan Carter, Chief Executive
Wednesday 16 August 2019

It’s Cyber Smart Week, and I’m jotting this blog post from the breaks at my first ever purplecon

We’ve signed up as an official Cyber Smart Week partner again this year because the event is important to part of our work at InternetNZ. We want to see an Internet that is open, secure, and for all New Zealanders. That is the sort of Internet that will power our individual and collective success.

Trust and security are vital to people taking the opportunities that the online world can offer. Without a basic - and justified - level of trust, people will simply not take advantage of the opportunities the Internet offers. 

We don’t know whether there is a sort of tipping point where people in significant numbers begin to move away from online, but we don’t especially want to find out.

So what do we know about how the public thinks about these issues?

Research we did with Colmar Brunton late last year gave us these insights:

  • 94% of New Zealanders are concerned about the security of personal data
  • 86% use a PIN or password on all devices (this means 14% do not!)
  • 62% regularly update their software
  • 45% regularly back up their content
  • 30% use 2FA on any/all accounts

To me these numbers show that there is awareness of some parts of security. Our next research round will take a look at other aspects of security and trust, and will be released early next year.

The behaviours shares in the research show there is room for improvement in our national efforts to behave safely online.  

That’s where campaigns like Cyber Smart Week kick in. By raising awareness, they can help people learn more about the actions they can take to keep themselves safer online.

We’ve posted some commit cards - some suggestions about things you can do, today, to be safer online.

Individual actions help, but they aren’t enough alone. Our long term vision on security and trust is that the tech sector and the Internet community make sure the whole online environment is safe enough by default to earn, and deserve, the trust of the public.

It’s fair to say we aren’t there today. As in so many areas of today’s Internet, the situation we have today is not the one we need. I talked about that at a broader level in my speech at NetHui earlier this month.

Big changes are needed in how we govern and develop the Internet to deal with its many challenges, including security and trust.

If you’d like to help us with that work, join InternetNZ today. Over the coming months, we will be working on plans for how we can together help change the Internet into the ‘net we need, not the one we have today. We would welcome your ideas.

In the meantime, get involved in Cyber Smart Week, check out the commit cards, and change something you do to improve your safety online.