On the other side of the internet (there is a person)

I often respond positively to applications on my smart devices which ask for access to location data because I love the services I get. When I ask something or receive targeted information it helps me connect with what I want.

I’m not alone. Research from Gartner in 2017 suggested there will be an astonishing 20.4 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) by 2020.

"I love the incredible opportunity the internet brings… but I’m also very conscious of [the risk].” 

Global spending on IoT devices and services was estimated to be $US2 trillion in 2017. There were 5.2 billion consumer devices connected to the internet in in 2017, along with 3.1 billion business devices. 

I love the incredible opportunity the internet brings. I love the fact I've got a smartwatch which can access all sorts of things and provide targeted services wherever I am - but I'm also very conscious of the fact there's more of my data out there with a whole lot of different companies and applications.

With all the benefits these devices bring, they also bring risks – and it’s up to everyone to ensure the internet, no matter how we are connected, remains a safe place for all. 


Most of the more-pressing internet safety concerns we've been concerned about for a while now; indeed, it’s complacency which is the real problem.

As people get more comfortable with using the internet in everything they do, including the Internet of Things, the risks of them not using a sufficient level of caution, or something going wrong rises.

The devices you have with you every day or which you have in your home constantly connected to the internet. They are sharing your location and your data in a manner which often means you have no easy way to check how secure it is. That’s the emerging risk.

For organisations like ANZ, the level of connectivity and the amount of data we have is something we are really conscious of. As a bank we work very hard to ensure customer privacy and to ensure our customers are protected – as well as helping them protect themselves from undue risk. 

This is something we must all think about. Organisations which collect data have an obligation to only gather what they absolutely need in order to provide a product or service and as a result they must be in a position to protect the data.

As consumers, we should all think twice about the information we provide, question what is really necessary and elect to turn off options (e.g. location settings where they are not warranted), or not provide information which is beyond the scope of a service.

Mandatory data breach reporting takes effect in Australia later in February, providing additional emphasis on data protection.

A safer place

At ANZ we're pleased to play a role in ensuring the internet is a safe place for people to interact.

February 6 is Safer Internet Day – and I'm really proud ANZ as a company is behind it. Alongside a number of governments, organisations and community groups all around the world, we’re doing everything we can start to really help send the message that everyone needs to think about what they do online - and how they do it.

There are also economic advantages if we generate trust in the online world. A safer internet brings greater business opportunities as well. If people trust the online world they are more likely to do business online, connect more broadly and share ideas and opportunities.

Corporations have a responsibility to positively contribute to the world we operate in, and in 2018 this world is increasingly online.

We’re helping spread the message about how people should behave on the internet and hopefully changing people's behaviours by role modelling the right ones ourselves and promoting the right things to do online.

We hope this will help make a difference and make the internet a safer place to be - safer for our children and safer for everyone who does things online.

Cyber bullying can be devastating. The people doing the bullying may not realise the impact they are having when they can’t see their victims and this can mean the behaviour is less likely to be moderated.

Victims are often alone and less likely to seek help. We must all raise awareness of the issues and encourage more respect online.

In 2017 alone, the eSafety Commission resolved 186 serious cyberbullying complaints for under 18’s in Australia. But it’s an epidemic is not confined to our youth.

Adults are also prone to forgetting there’s a human on the receiving end of online interactions. In America, a survey revealed 47 per cent of adults have experienced online harassment or abuse and for 18 to 25-year-olds the figure rises to 65 per cent.

These are numbers we can no longer ignore and it is our duty to help our communities understand their role in creating a safer, more-respectful and more-secure digital world.

Each of us has a responsibility to conduct ourselves respectfully online and together we can make the internet a safer place. 


The cost of global cybercrime is expected to reach $US6 trillion a year by 2021 – representing the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history.

For business, the lesson is anyone who develops an application or a system needs to ensure they put in place safeguards to protect the people who use it - and provide those people with the option to decide what they want to share and how they want to do it.

That's a really important part of the roles of technology and software developers or security professionals. Good companies do that really well and put a lot of time and effort into protections.

Good products have security built into the design process– but it’s not something that is consistent across the board.

It helps if people are cautious and well-researched. When choosing services, software or applications, it’s important to make sure it comes from a reputable organisation that takes security seriously.

There is a lot we can all do to ensure we are more secure online and to make the internet a safer place for everyone who uses it.

Safer Internet Day is about making the internet a safer place for everyone - including by making sure we think about respect in our online activity in the same way we've always done in our offline activity. It is really important people across the community have trust in the internet and are safe when they do business or socialise online.

Lynwen Connick is Chief Information Security Officer, ANZ.

For more information about Safer Internet Day and the great work that the Office of the eSafety Commissioner.  ANZ also provides useful advice on steps to take to ensure you remain safe online.

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

editor's picks

05 Feb 2018

The new commandments for online

Erica Hardinge | Head of Security Enablement, ANZ

We’re learning more about the impact of the dark side of the net on our kids.

12 Oct 2016

Cybersecurity: don’t learn the hard way

Tamsyn Harris | Head of Fraud Risk Strategy, ANZ

Often we are told, to understand something we need to experience it for ourselves. This applies to most things in life, including business but I would argue it certainly does not apply to cybercrime and fraud. In these scenarios it is much better to learn from the experiences of others.