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Internet NZ Survey results support Netsafe’s call for changes to Harmful Digital Communications Act

Key findings in the latest Internet NZ Survey are welcomed by Netsafe as it supports their mission and challenge to help New Zealanders create safer and more positive on-line spaces.

The survey found most Kiwis (63%-) spend two to four hours a day online and 80 percent of people believe the positives of the internet outweigh the negatives.

Brent Carey, Netsafe CEO, says while it is great the majority of Kiwis find the internet helpful and valuable it is key to ensure people are aware of the potential risks and how to manage them.

Young children accessing inappropriate materials continues to be the number one concern (73%). This group is less concerned about security risks (59% vs 69% national average) and overall young New Zealanders are more likely to experience online harm and harassment (25% vs 18% national average).

“It was clear from the survey that all groups, men and women aged 18-70+ from Pakeha, Maori, Pasifika and Asian backgrounds had very strong concerns about children accessing inappropriate materials. That is why we have called for an upgrade to the Harmful Digital Communications Act to ensure we can do more to protect young children.”

The number of New Zealanders extremely or very concerned about misinformation has increased significantly to 65% and other key areas of concern were security of personal data (69%), online crime (67%), identity theft (66%).

The survey results also mirror Netsafe’s 2023 Annual Population Survey which found identity theft, scams, and online security as serious concerns for people.

“These stats show the increasing number of people using the internet are facing a number of concerns including security and online crime which is why Netsafe has introduced a number of education programmes across various groups to provide them with the tools and knowledge to help them stay safe online.

“The work we are doing across New Zealand is one of the reasons the survey found Nestafe is the place the majority of Kiwis report harmful online content to (48% vs 34% in 2022) and is also one of the most popular places to get on-line information from.

“This is in line with the significant increase we have seen in people requesting information and materials and asking Netsafe to speak to businesses and organisations around the country.”


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