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Kiwis think benefits of the internet outweigh the negatives

New research from InternetNZ shows that New Zealanders believe the many benefits the internet provides outweigh the negatives, despite ongoing security concerns.

However, Kiwis are not doing enough to protect themselves online, InternetNZ says.

The new research shows that 93% of New Zealanders are concerned about the security of their personal data. However, despite the concern, InternetNZ says it is not seeing enough action being taken by New Zealanders to improve their online security.

InternetNZ is a non-profit organisation, and the home and guardian of .nz. It uses funding from the sale of .nz domain names to support the development of New Zealand's internet through policy, community grants, research and events. 

InternetNZ’s research shows one in five New Zealanders do not protect their devices with a password or PIN. Furthermore, the research shows only 35% of Kiwis regularly back up their content. 

And while the number of people using two-factor or multi-factor authentication has increased by 7% in the last year, it is still only sitting at 35%, according to the research.

InternetNZ engagement director Andrew Cushen says it is important InternetNZ and others continue work to educate New Zealanders on the importance of online security best practice.

"Turning on two-factor authentication protects your accounts by adding a second step to log in," he says. 

"It is easy for you to use, but makes it hard for anyone else to use your identity or get your data," Cushen explains.

Despite security concerns, the research reveals nine out of ten New Zealanders believe the benefits of the internet outweigh the negatives. This is consistent with the research findings from previous years, InternetNZ says.

"We’re pleased to see New Zealanders recognise and value the benefits the internet offers," adds Cushen. 

According to the research, access to information and ease of communication topped the list of key benefits of the internet again. Cushen says these results show it is more important than ever that we work to increase digital inclusion.

"Every New Zealander deserves access to the key benefits the internet offers. Supporting New Zealanders access to resources and initiatives to build their skill and confidence, and helping the government to prioritise meaningful investment in digital inclusion, are key goals for InternetNZ this year," he explains. 

Cushen says InternetNZ will continue to commission this research each year to demonstrate what people think today, and how their thinking changes over time.