When it comes to safeguarding data against cyber threats, 32% of Australians feel that the banking and finance industry is doing the best job, followed by IT (14%) and government (10%), while retail (2%), construction (1%) and hospitality (0%) were seen as the worst offenders for data protection, according to new research from GoDaddy.

GoDaddy’s Safe Surfing research found that two thirds (67%) of Australians are concerned about cyber security, and almost a quarter (22%) have already been victims of a data breach or online security threat, with most respondents (85%) claiming that their increased use of technology is making them more vulnerable to threats.

On a more positive note, Australians are becoming more cyber aware and taking proactive steps to understand and mitigate their risks online. The GoDaddy research revealed that 60% of respondents know what to look for when it comes to determining whether a site is secure, including the security lock symbol in the URL, ‘Https’ in the web address and contact details.

Businesses need to ensure that their security policies and systems are up to date with two thirds (64%) of Australians surveyed claiming that they would refrain from using a website if the company or brand had already been compromised by an online security threat or data hack.

GoDaddy regional president for Australia, Canada and Latin America, Jill Schoolenberg said, “It’s encouraging to see that so many Australians are both aware of the importance of their online security, and understand what to look for, while actively implementing measures to help minimise their online vulnerabilities. This increased awareness, along with simple defenses and affordable tools, helps to create a safer and more inclusive online community.

“With more Australians becoming cyber aware, small businesses should evaluate their own online security policies to help ensure that their websites meet current cyber security requirements or risk losing customers. The good news is that today, it is easier to create secure online experiences for your customers and help protect their data with more tools available.”