Your online communications may not be as secure as you think, warns InternetNZ.

The industry body has released a series of resources to help New Zealanders keep their messages from advertisers and other prying eyes.

Chief executive Jordan Carter said communication tools usually thought to be private, including SMS and email, were often not.

The best communication tools which could ensure privacy were Signal, WhatsApp and 'secret conversations' in Facebook Messenger.


Signal and WhatsApp are both automatically encrypted while secret conversations in Facebook Messenger is an opt-in service.

"As part of your 2017 New Year's resolutions, you should be thinking about what you can do to keep your personal information private. By using messaging apps with encryption you can claim your privacy and make your conversations genuinely private," Carter said.

"Privacy is a basic human right and we want to see people taking control and securing their personal conversations."

Last year InternetNZ carried out research which found that 72 per cent of New Zealanders were concerned about security of personal data and 67 per cent were concerned about threats to their privacy.

InternetNZ has released a 30 second video about keeping communications private, as well as graphics and comic strips.