Home opinion-and-analysis Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 85% of Australians would stop dealing with an organisation after a data breach (maybe)

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So says the latest world-wide survey by Unisys that takes a bi-annual look at the security attitudes of people around the world.

Amongst other questions, the twice-yearly Unisys Security Index polled 1,205 Australian residents 18 years or older with the following question, to which a response of 'yes,' 'no' or 'don't know' was recorded.  The percentage results are included below after each optional action.

Thinking now about security related issues. If you became aware that personal information that was being held by an organisation you dealt with had been accessed by an unauthorised person, would you take any of the following actions?

1. Stop dealing with that organisation, such as closing your account
(85 / 10 / 4)
2. Continue dealing with the organisation but not online (24 / 67 / 8)
3. Take legal action (47 / 43 / 10)
4. Publicly expose the issue (64 / 30 / 6)
5. Change your passwords on that organisation's website and any other sites you are concerned about (88 / 5 / 6)

This means that when presented with a data breach (such as Taste or Lush), Australians would be most likely to change passwords (good!), stop dealing with the organisation (knee-jerk , but if they want to...), publicly expose the organisation (presumably via Facebook, Twitter, but also word-of-mouth), take legal action (yeah, sure!) and least likely to continue dealing, but not with their on-line entity (uh-huh).

Continued on the next page.

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David Heath

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David Heath has over 25 years experience in the IT industry, specializing particularly in customer support, security and computer networking. Heath has worked previously as head of IT for The Television Shopping Network, as the network and desktop manager for Armstrong Jones (a major funds management organization) and has consulted into various Australian federal government agencies (including the Department of Immigration and the Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence). He has also served on various state, national and international committees for Novell Users International; he was also the organising chairman for the 1994 Novell Users' Conference in Brisbane. Heath is currently employed as an Instructional Designer, building technical training courses for industrial process control systems.

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