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3 out of 4 Australians harmed by a data breach

Cristina POPOV

September 11, 2023

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3 out of 4 Australians harmed by a data breach

Recent high-profile data breaches in Australia have got everyone thinking about how personal information is collected, stored and safeguarded, according to the latest Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey, conducted by The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) in March 2023.

The research shows 47% of Australians had been informed by an organization that their personal information was involved in a data breach in the 12 months prior to completing the survey.

Three quarters (76%) said they experienced harm as a direct result of being involved in a breach:

· 52% saw an increase in scams and spam

· 29% said they had to replace key identity documents, such as a driver's license or passport

· 12% experienced emotional or psychological harm

74% of Australians feel data breaches are one of the biggest privacy risks they face today, up by 13 percentage points since 2020.

Aftereffects of a data breach. What will you do when it happens to you?

Almost half (47%) of respondents say they would stop using a service if their data was involved in a breach, but this drops to a third for people who have recently experienced one. Those willing to remain with an organization that has suffered a data breach, have one condition: that the organization quickly takes action, such as putting steps in place to prevent customers from suffering harm.

While it is true that organizations can do more to protect the information they hold, so can individuals. Adding more layers of security results in better protection. For example, a VPN will secure your browsing, especially outside your home network, and prevent online tracking and profiling. A Password Manager to help you generate and store strong passwords safely, protecting you against account takeover.

In case of breaches, the best protection starts with finding out immediately about it (and not waiting to be informed by the organization suffering from it, which takes a while). And here is where Digital Protection Identity Protection shines. It monitors the Internet continuously (surface and Dark Web) and alerts you when your data is exposed.

Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection dashboard shows you:

-  The breaches and data collector that exposed your information. It only needs your email address and phone number to crawl leaked data.

-  Your digital footprint and risk map – what the Internet knows about you and how risky it is for your privacy and safety

-  The steps to take for each of your accounts involved in a data breach to minimize the danger of identity theft and financial losses.

Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection sends you reports, newsletters after scans, "how to" knowledge about setting up the proper privacy settings in various apps, and actionable advice in case of breaches and leaks, so you will always know what to do next.

Check out the best plan for your digital identity!



Cristina POPOV

Cristina is a freelance writer and a mother of two living in Denmark. Her 15 years experience in communication includes developing content for tv, online, mobile apps, and a chatbot.

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