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We’d rather sit in traffic: Aussies lax on financial data security

Australians would rather do their taxes or sit in traffic than boost their financial data security, a new survey has revealed.

According to the survey conducted by Mastercard, 87 per cent of Australians accept that hacks and breaches are to be expected, with 73 per cent feeling the situation is hopeless.

“While consumers know that threats exist, they also need to know that they aren’t powerless,” chief security solutions officer Ajay Bhalla said.

“There are some simple things people can do that don’t require a lot of time, yet will make them and their information more secure online.

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“In today’s digital economy, being a smart consumer extends beyond knowing how to save and spend money – it requires practicing good cyber habits.”

Nevertheless, Australians still consider strengthening their financial security locks a chore, with nearly 40 per cent finding it a bigger inconvenience than household jobs. Similarly, 38 per cent would rather sit in traffic or do their taxes.

Interestingly, consumers are willing to make more drastic changes, with 47 per cent willing to give up social media to protect their data security and 50 per cent willing to give up 15 minutes of their day. One in four would even give up their coffee and 16 per cent would say goodbye to their dream job to protect their data.

However, Mastercard reminded consumers that none of these options are necessary.

With this in mind, social media users would be wise to limit the amount of personal information they share and multi-factor authentication is a good idea for those signing into accounts, the financial services company said.

Australians should also take care downloading attachments or opening links from unknown emails and avoid sharing sensitive information over public WiFi.

“In the next five years, we will see more change in payments than we’ve seen in the previous 50 years,” Mastercard Australasia’s senior vice president of product and innovation, Matt Barr, said.

“With almost nine in 10 Australians accepting that data breaches are the new normal, we need to ensure that people know how to protect themselves online … Mastercard envisions a cashless future, where the entire payment system is invisible and seamless, while being secure and trustworthy.”

We’d rather sit in traffic: Aussies lax on financial data security
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