Aussies worried they can’t protect their financial information, says Mastercard

With more than half of Australia’s population online, and social commerce on the rise, cybersecurity attacks are a more pressing issue than ever. Aussies are feeling the stress of protecting their important information more than ever.

A shocking 87% of Aussies have accepted online hacks as the new normal, according to Mastercard Australia research. What’s more alarming is that three-in-four believe they don’t have any control over their personal and financial information being stolen.

But according to Mastercard Australia Chief Security Solutions Officer, Ajay Bhalla, that’s far from the case.

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“While consumers know that threats exist, they also need to know that they aren’t powerless. 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.”

However, many Aussies see added security as a chore. In fact, of those who find it inconvenient, 38% say they would rather sit in traffic than take strides to keep their accounts safe.

Despite this, nearly half (47%) of people said they would give up social media to ensure their data security, and one in four would give up their beloved coffee indefinitely.

What can I do to reduce my risk of cybersecurity attacks?

The good news is you don’t have to give up Facebook or your morning coffee, but the issue does go beyond a simple password change.

According to Mastercard, some steps Aussies can take include:

  • Not sharing personal information online. Personal information is exactly that: personal. Don’t share any financial information on your social media in case it falls into the wrong hands.
  • Using multi-factor authentication. Using the same password for everything isn’t secure. Go the extra mile and adopt multi-factor authentication and add biometrics for your best chances at protecting your information.
  • Avoiding public WiFi when sharing sensitive information. The free WiFi at your local cafe is great for perusing social media, but not for online banking. An unsecure connection leaves you susceptible to fraud.

“With almost nine-in-ten Australians accepting that data breaches are the new normal, we need to ensure that people know how to protect themselves online,” said Senior Vice Mastercard Australia President of Product and Innovation, Matt Barr.

To help tackle the problem, Mastercard is also looking into new security measures like biometrics and artificial intelligence, and for when the going gets tough, Mastercard currently offers zero liability protection to cardholders.

Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont says when it comes to cybersecurity, it’s good to know what protections come with your plastic incase of an unexpected breach in security.

“Be aware of what security features you have available to you through your debit or credit card provider. Zero liability protection gives you peace of mind that your provider won’t hold you responsible for fraudulent transactions,” said Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont.

The first step in taking control over your finances is making sure you’ve got a great card with great security features. Check out our debit card comparison tool, to compare low fees and available ATM networks for some of the most popular cards on the market.