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Cybercrime soars as Kiwis slack off

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/10/2016
A hacker © Getty Images A hacker

Fewer New Zealanders are installing security software and changing passwords despite cybercrime becoming a $600 billion global racket that's bigger than the drug trade.

Justice Minister Amy Adams wants people to take more care.

She's just released research showing 20 per cent of Kiwis were affected by cybercrime last year.

When spam and suspicious emails are included, the figure soars to 72 per cent.

But the number of people taking steps to manage their cyber security has fallen to 76 per cent compared with 84 per cent in 2014.

Fewer people are updating or installing security software, changing passwords, ensuring they have a secure connection or checking their privacy settings.

Only 20 per cent of people have sought or received cybercrime advice or training in the workplace.

Ms Adams doesn't think that's good enough.

"At a global cost of around $600 billion a year, cybercrime is now bigger than the global drugs trade," she said on Monday.

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

She wants businesses to step up and individuals to take more notice of cyber security.

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