Justice Minister Amy Adams says Privacy Week 2015 is a reminder to people about the importance of keeping personal information secure.

Privacy Week begins today and is an annual Asia Pacific initiative to promote awareness of privacy issues.

“In this digital age we need to be ever vigilant about the information we provide about ourselves to others and what is done with that information,” says Ms Adams.

Ms Adams said often the best protection of privacy was the steps we take ourselves such as having and regularly updating passwords on phones and computers.

“Some recent reports have found that while 83 per cent of New Zealanders have experienced a cyber-security breach, only 39 per cent changed their online behaviour as a result,” says Ms Adams.

“A further 40 per cent of New Zealanders never or hardly ever change passwords, and 43 per cent do so only occasionally while only 66 per cent of us secure our personal smartphone with a password. Only half secure their work smartphone.”

Ms Adams said Privacy Week was also a good opportunity for
agencies, organisations and businesses to think about how they looked after people’s personal information.

“With huge growth in recent years in collecting, compiling, analysing and disseminating personal information, it’s vital customers and staff understand clearly the rules about using and storing personal information,” says Ms Adams.

Media contact: Kristy Martin 022 015 8039

Top five privacy tips

  1. Think before you give out personal information, and check what it will be used for.

  2. Help keep your kids safe online by encouraging them to talk to you about what they're doing.

  3. Limit your risk when buying online. Have a separate, low-limit credit card.

  4. Make sure you've got up-to-date safety software on your computer, especially if you're doing banking online.

  5. Change your passwords regularly.

More information about privacy and events during Privacy Week can be found at: www.privacy.org.nz