One year after Australia's largest data breaches, Australians are more concerned and vigilant about online security: new PayPal research reveals

20 September 2023, Sydney– One year after a series of high-profile data breaches in 2022, three-quarters of Australians (74%) are more concerned about the safety and security of their online and financial data than they were 12 months ago, new research from PayPal Australia reveals.[i]

Beginning in September 2022, several major data breaches impacted almost half of the population (47%)[ii] within the space of four months. With three quarters (76%) of those affected saying the breaches caused harm.[iii] In response, Australians have become increasingly concerned about their online safety. According to PayPal’s 2023 Security Research, the top areas of increased concern are:  scams becoming more sophisticated (65%), personal details being available to criminals on the dark web (55%), safety and security of personal data being shared with businesses (52%), and companies having control over personal data and how it is used (51%).i

Boomers are reporting the greatest increase in concern over the past 12 months, with more than three-in-four in this generation (77%) reporting heightened cyber security fears. However, this increased anxiety is seen across all generations. Fortunately, Australian consumers have also become more vigilant, demonstrating a commitment to bolstering their online security practices.

Ninety three per cent (93%) of consumers have taken at least one proactive measure to protect themselves online including:  treating calls, emails, and texts with more suspicion (81%), enabling two-factor authentication (74%), using PayPal for secure online transactions (63%), improving their passwords (60%), and educating themselves about identifying scams (54%).i

When shopping online, almost 2-in-5 Aussies (37%) have abandoned purchases due to security concerns or because their preferred payment option wasn’t available. In fact, these are the top reasons shoppers abandon purchases, followed by a purchase or payment process being too difficult (28%).

“The breaches that impacted Australians a year ago were a reminder to all of us that we can’t be complacent when it comes to cyber security, especially as more aspects of our day-to-day lives shift online,” said Daniela Fernandez, Head of Information Security at PayPal Australia.

“Every online action and transaction carries a measure of risk, but each of us has the ability to reduce the danger with simple steps to help protect ourselves and our loved ones.”

PayPal’s Top Tips for Strengthening Online Security

  1. Seek out up to date online safety advice and education, including how to avoid and report scams at or
  2. Regularly update your computer security with anti-virus and anti-spyware software.  
  3. Use passwords, passphrases and pins that would be difficult to guess and don’t reuse the same password across multiple devices and services.
  4. If a service provider offers multifactor authentication, enable this feature to increase security. This means you need to give 2 or more proofs of identity to get access such as a code sent to your phone or email.
  5. Never trust that an unsolicited caller is who they say they are. If in doubt, hang up and contact the organisation through confirmed channels (e.g. phone number listed on the official website).
  6. Never share your sensitive information such as your credit card number or password over the phone. Legitimate callers will not ask for this on a call.
  7. Do not click on links or open attachments from senders you don’t recognise. If the contact appears to be from a known organisation that you deal with (e.g. your Telco, Bank or even PayPal), log in to your account through the official website to check if the message was legitimate.

About the Research – PayPal 2023 Security Research

The research was produced by PayPal Australia Pty Limited, based on an online study conducted by Fifth Quadrant with n = 1,012 consumers and n = 408 businesses. The consumer research consisted of a sample of n = 1,012 Australians aged 18 - 75. The sample was weighted by age, gender and location to ensure data was nationally representative. The business research consisted of a sample of n = 408 decision makers within Australian businesses. All businesses had to sell partially or wholly to consumers, and partially or wholly online. Quotas and the sample were set on turnover and location.  The research was in field from 14th June to 17th July 2023.

Press Contact

To contact PayPal Australia’s media team, please email or call 0403 414 248.

[i] PayPal Australia 2023 Security Research

[ii] Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) Notifiable Data Breaches Report: July to December 2022

[iii] Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey

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