Australians become increasingly concerned about information privacy

New statistics from Roy Morgan Research have confirmed that Australians today are feeling safer and more confident than ever before – except when it comes to information privacy.

Following the announcement of prime minister Julia Gillard's new National Security Strategy last week, Roy Morgan has released interesting data from its State of the Nation report regarding the security concerns of modern Australians.

Overall, it appears that Australians feel safer now than they did ten years ago. Just 40.8 per cent of survey respondents in the Roy Morgan study answered that they now feel less safe than they used to, compared to 52.9 per cent who gave that answer in 2002/2003.

However nearly two thirds of survey participants in the Roy Morgan survey – 68.9 per cent – said that they were now worried about invasion of privacy through new technology, up from 62.4 per cent a decade ago.

Roy Morgan Research chief executive officer Michele Levine says that the results are evidence that Australians are becoming less concerned about physical security due to dropping crime rates across the country.

Instead, they are shifting their concerns to other areas such as unemployment, financial security and, of course, unease about the potential for online privacy invasion, which she claims is a natural response to increasing cybercrime rates.

The news should serve as a timely reminder for modern organisations which process and store personal information regarding customers and clients about the importance of ensuring strong cyber security day in and day out.

This particularly applies to any enterprise which accepts credit or debit card information, as these are often the organisations most at risk of being targeted by cybercriminals.

One of the best ways for businesses to ensure they are meeting their obligations when it comes to ensuring the privacy of consumer information is through achieving compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

The PCI DSS is a set of best practice requirements that any organisations which accepts credit or debit card payments is obligated to meet, and is set down by several of the world's leading payment card providers.

Because PCI DSS compliance is not a one size fits all solution, it is a good idea to seek third party assistance with achieving the various requirements of this standard.

That way, your organisation can ensure that it is managing payment card data in a safe and secure manner, whilst also reassuring customers that every reasonable measure is being taken to maintain the privacy of their personal information.

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