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Are you secure online? CERT NZ can help

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In a nutshell

  1. New Zealanders are facing more cyber security threats than ever before.
  2. CERT NZ is enlisting behavioural science in its fight for a cyber-resilient New Zealand.
  3. The downloadable Cyber Change guide helps government and industry agencies use behavioural insights to get people acting in a more secure way online.

Cyber security attacks are on the rise. 

More New Zealanders than ever before are losing their money, information and privacy online. 

According to CERT NZ, reported cyber security incidents almost doubled from 2019-2021, with New Zealanders reporting over 8,800 incidents in 2021 alone.

This comes as many of us are living increasingly online lives, with online shopping and online transactions growing 52% from 2019 to 2021. 

However, research shows that while we’re worried about our online security, we don’t seem to be taking action, despite best intentions and despite many of the fixes being relatively simple. For example, using long and unique passwords, implementing two-factor authentication, and ensuring social media accounts are set to ‘Private’ only.  

CERT NZ – New Zealand’s cyber security authority – has set out to change this.  

Working with TRA, CERT NZ has created Cyber Change – a guide to behaviour change techniques for government and industry agencies working in the area of online security. 

The guide shares the latest insights into New Zealander’s online behaviour, informed by TRA’s thorough research and analysis into how New Zealanders think and behave online.   

Discover these insights and find out how to use the 18 different behavioural strategies to prompt better, more secure security interventions, guided by the COM-B behaviour change model. 

Access Cyber Change: Behavioural insights for being secure online and read more about our work with CERT NZ below.  

Understanding New Zealanders online behaviour 

 As services become increasingly digital and cyber threats become more sophisticated, building a cyber-resilient New Zealand is more important than ever.  

To better protect New Zealanders from cyber threats, CERT NZ was looking to gain a strong understanding of how New Zealanders protect themselves (or don’t) online –  the drivers and the barriers to behaviour change. 

TRA was tasked with researching these current perceptions, motivations and behaviours, helping CERT NZ to effectively implement behaviour change initiatives and engagement to help New Zealand better understand and stay resilient to cyber security threats. 

To fully understand how New Zealander’s currently attempt to be secure online, TRA needed to take multiple approaches.  

We employed our full range of quantitative, qualitative and behavioural research techniques, including a cultural audit of cyber security in the media, surveys, in-depth research groups and online behavioural research boards to capture actual online cyber security behaviours and responses to behavioural interventions.  

We then brought it all together with the COM-B behaviour change model –  a holistic approach to identifying the key barriers and the most suitable behavioural insights to address them.  


A shareable guide to online security, powered by behavioural insights 

Behavioural science can play a role in understanding and overcoming the barriers to online safety and unlocking opportunities to help people better protect themselves online. 

One of the outputs from CERT NZ’s research proposal was a handbook of actionable insights all organisations in the cyber security ecosystem across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors in New Zealand could easily use to drive positive behaviour change- CERT NZ’s focus is on creating a cyber resilient New Zealand work, and that requires a collaborative approach.  

Cyber Change is the behaviour change solution, equipping government and industry with evidence-based techniques to prompt positive cyber security actions. 

One example available in the guide is ‘Fresh Starts’. The research identified that cyber security is most relevant to New Zealanders when people are setting up a new device or a new financial service. Therefore, using these fresh start moments as keys opportunities to connect with people with cyber security is an effective nudge. 

For more actionable insights to help New Zealanders protect their cyber security, download your guide today. 



NZ Post Media Release 2022 ‘Kiwis spend $7.67 billion online in 2021’ 


Lindsey Horne
Behavioural Insights Lead
With a background in neuroscience and applied behavioural science, Lindsey works across behaviour change projects with social and government clients. Her approach to behaviour change is holistic, from broader cultural and social change through to behavioural economics and nudges.

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