Survey highlights insecurities about Net use

Identity theft and the misuse of personal information has been rated the number one threat by Australian Internet users, according to the inaugural Unisys Security Survey Index.

The survey of 1200 users has been undertaken as the basis of a quarterly index on overall attitudes towards a range of financial, personal, Internet and national aspects of security.

Andrew Barkla, Unisys Asia Pacific vice president, said the issue of security, both national and personal, has changed dramatically since 9/11.

"In order for the public and private sectors to understand and respond to these issues, it is vital to capture an accurate picture of public opinion," he said.

For the June quarter (survey conducted in mid-May), the Unisys Security Index stood at 115 out of 300 indicating a reasonable level of comfort regarding security overall.

Conducted by Newspoll, the index is achieved by averaging the results of the four key survey areas on national, financial, Internet and personal security. The survey will be done each quarter, enabling trends and fluctuations to be monitored over time.

"We believe this will be the first regular, published security index survey of its kind in Australia," said Newspoll CEO, Martin O'Shannessy.

Key results of the June Quarter survey show that 56 percent have high levels of concern about unauthorized access to personal information or its misuse; 53 percent have high levels of concern about other people obtaining their credit card or debit card details; 41 percent have high levels of concern about Australia's national security in relation to war or terrorism.

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