Fear of sexual assault, physical assault, robbery, terrorism and a spike in cyber-attacks are the five key security concerns among Australians in 2022, according to the Australian Security Confidence Index (ASCI).
The findings are especially significant in this election year and political parties, keen to win government, will have to address Australians’ feelings about their own safety and that of their families, their businesses and the nation.
The annual study, commissioned by the Australian Security Industry Association Ltd (ASIAL) surveyed 1,600 Australians nationwide from all walks of life about their security concerns in a range of contexts, from their own homes and workplaces, to their online activities and when at large in public.
It reveals the depth of feeling Australians have for their security in an increasingly uncertain and security-conscious world.
ASIAL says the NielsenIQ researchers found that key security concerns focus on cyber threats, which is now the number 1 security fear for 44% of Australians, up from 38% last year.
ASIAL Chief Executive Officer, Bryan de Caires said that this sends a clear message to Australia’s governments and the Security Industry alike. “The key element in the term ‘Cyber Security’ is the word ‘Security’ and the study identifies fear of being victim to a cyber attack is an issue of growing concern to Australians.”
“As the domains of physical and virtual security converge, it is evident that more needs to be done to build cyber resilience and ensure that IT personnel are appropriately vetted to handle the sensitive data and information they have access to,” he said.
“Ensuring the probity and skill levels of those providing cyber security advice and support is vital. This has clear policy and regulatory implications for governments and the Security Industry alike,” he said.
Security concerns about sexual assault on women has also increased significantly since last year in the wake of a number of highly-publicised assaults. Fear of robbery and physical assault were also higher.
Researchers were surprised by an increase in terrorism awareness and concerns, especially among younger people, which comes amidst the rapidly deteriorating situation in the Ukraine.
6% of Australians feeling unsafe overall (5% in 2021)
Those who identify as of Indian ethnic background are significantly more likely to feel unsafe. This year they are joined by females aged 40-54, those who reside in CBD/cities, those looking for employment or working in hospitality.
We still see only 1 in 5 Australians feeling “very safe” in their day-to-day lives, with many being acutely aware of situations and activities that could put them at risk.
The full ASCI 2022 report can be accessed from https://asial.com.au/ASCI