Identity theft a concern for Australians – research shows

[news release] Almost 90 per cent of Australians surveyed are concerned about identity theft and 61 per cent think identity theft will increase over the next 12 months according to new research released today.Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said that while Australians are concerned about identity theft, there is a lot that individuals can do to protect their own identity.”While identity theft is understandably concerning, Australians can take some simple steps to protect their identity,” Ms Roxon said.”Making sure you don’t respond to suspicious e-mail or store personal details on your mobile phone are two easy steps to prevent identity theft.”Ms Roxon also spoke about what governments and business can do to combat identity theft, including the use of the Document Verification Service that is run by the Attorney-General’s Department.”Identity security is a shared responsibility. Only when governments at all levels work together with industry and the community can we effectively tackle the insidious effects of identity misuse.”The Document Verification Service is being used by government agencies to confirm details on key identity documents such as passports, driver licenses and birth certificates.”The DVS helps to put out of business those who try and pedal fake identify documents.”From next year, the financial and telecommunications sectors will be able to access the DVS to check Commonwealth identity documents, such as passports and visas – further helping the private sector to protect their customers’ identity.”Identity crime is one of the top three enablers of serious and organised crime in Australia, and can have serious financial implications for business, governments and individuals.The research released today was commissioned by the Attorney-General’s Department and repeats a similar survey conducted in July 2011. Key findings for this year’s survey include:
89 per cent of respondents are concerned about identity theft and 61 per cent think identity theft will increase in the next year
24 per cent of respondents had been, or knew someone who had been, a victim of identity crime in the last six months – an increase of seven per cent since 2011
When identify crime occurred, 58 per cent involved the internet, through either a virus or an online scam, 35 per cent involved the loss of a credit or debit card, 18 per cent involved mail theft and 9 per cent involved the theft or loss of physical identity documents such as a passport and drivers licence.The results of this research will inform the review of the National Identity Security Strategy currently being undertaken by the Department in conjunction with the States and Territories.For more information on the survey or protecting your identity visit Quarter/4-September-2012—Identity-theft-a-concern-for-Australians—research-shows.aspxAlso see:Australians careless about online security, says PayPal Australia report
WE all have multiple accounts online. Almost half of us have 10 or more. But we’re not being vigilant enough when it comes to protecting our passwords, and we’re putting ourselves at risk of internet fraud.

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