One in five Kiwis affected by cybercrime

  • Amy Adams

Only 17 per cent of New Zealanders say they have received training or advice about cyber security at work despite New Zealanders grappling with cyber security issues, says Communications Minister Amy Adams.

“New research conducted by Colmar Brunton found that 20 per cent of New Zealanders have been affected by cybercrime in the last year, and this figure rises to 72 per cent when spam and suspicious emails are included,” says Ms Adams.

The research has been released to coincide with Connect Smart Week which launches today with the focus of equipping New Zealanders to be cyber secure at work.

Ms Adams encourages organisations across the public and private sector to take the opportunity to look at their cyber security practices. 

“At a global cost of around $600 billion a year, cybercrime is now bigger than the global drugs trade. All employers and employees should understand their role in protecting the information that belongs to their workplace,” says Ms Adams.

“Phishing emails and ransomware are increasing, and employees are key to preventing security incidents in the workplace.

“It is imperative New Zealanders are aware of cyber risks and take simple steps to protect themselves, including creating strong passwords, keeping a look out for suspicious, unsolicited emails, and thinking before they click.”

The Connect Smart research has found that 76 per cent of New Zealanders are proactively taking steps to manage their cyber security, but this is down from 84 per cent of New Zealanders in 2014.

Other results from the research show:

  • Awareness is high. 91 per cent of New Zealanders have stopped and thought before clicking on links and attachments in emails in the past three months
  • Smart practice is slipping. Compared to last year, fewer people are now updating or installing security software (64 per cent down from 70 per cent in 2015), changing passwords (63 per cent down from 68 per cent in 2015), ensuring they are using a secure connection (57 per cent down from 61 per cent in 2015), and checking their social media privacy settings (56 per cent down from 60 per cent in 2015).
  • Businesses need to step up. Few people have sought advice (20 per cent) or received advice or training from their place of work (17 per cent per cent).
  • Lack of knowledge remains a barrier. Taking steps to manage cyber security is held back by a lack of knowledge around what steps should be taken – 41 per cent of those who do not regularly take steps say this is a barrier to doing so (up from 32 per cent in 2014).

Those seeking help can find resources on how to be cyber smart online at Connect Smart ( and Digital Journey (

Ensuring New Zealanders are safe, resilient and prosperous online is at the heart of the Government’s refreshed national Cyber Security Strategy. The strategy was launched in December 2015 with an Action Plan and a National Plan to Address Cybercrime.