Some 92 per cent of New Zealanders are concerned about young children accessing inappropriate content online, new research reveals.
InternetNZ - the non-profit that administers .nz domains - commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 1859 consumers and business people and found that 93 per cent of Kiwis go online every day.
And 90 per cent think that, on balance, the positives of the internet outweigh its negatives.
Still, those negatives prey on our minds. The top five concerns:
But although New Zealanders are aware of cyber-perils, not many are taking steps to secure themselves or their data.
Only 45 per cent of us regularly backup our data.
And although nearly all use passwords, only 30 per cent use two-factor authentication or"2FA" - which usually involves code being sent to your cellphone on top of the requirement to enter a password.
Earlier, InternetNZ policy advisor Ben Creet said a major security problem was that people used the same password to log on to multiple services - meaning if one provider got hacked, their personal details were vulnerable on every website they accessed.
Creet says if you use a relatively new computer, its operating system will protect you against viruses and malware. The InternetNZ man says if you only have a limited budget, spend it on a password manager like LastPass.
Password management software automatically generates a random password for every site you access and auto-fills, meaning you only have to remember one master password (and given that one of the safest ways to make a password uncrackable is to make a password long and include numbers, a good tip is to make it a phrase you can easily remember but will be unguessable to others such as MyDreamGolfHandicapIs5).
Blocking X-rated content
In terms of combating inappropriate content, the Department of Internal Affairs has a filter installed at all major New Zealand ISPs, aimed primarily at blocking child exploitation sites.
And most internet providers also offer a service that blocks X-rated material.
However, with so much adult content saturating the internet, and even seeping into mainstream sites like Pinterest, it can be a game of Whack-a-Mole.
Many filters also block the VPNs that some parents use to access offshore entertainment content, such as the US versions of iTunes or Netflix.
Lower tech alternatives include unplugging your wi-fi router at a designated time of night, and talking to your children about what they're likely to encounter online - so that when they see the bad stuff, they know that it's bad.
InternetNZ outreach and engagement director Andrew Cushen says the survey is a reminder for families to talk with each other about the different types of content found online, and to talk about what to do if they come across any upsetting content. "We need to ensure that people of all ages feel safe on the Internet," he says.
Sky TV has suggested a site-blocking regime, which would follow legal moves in the UK and elsewhere that require ISPs to block certain sites. The pay-TV broadcaster has pirated content in its sites, but site-blocking is also used in the war on inappropriate content.
However, major internet service providers Spark, 2degrees and Vocus (owner of Orcon and Slingshot) are not onboard with site-blocking. All have told the Herald it is not their job to police the internet, and that the practices would be costly, impractical and unlikely to work.
In August, NZ First MP and Children's Minister Tracy Martin said New Zealand should follow the United Kingdom in bringing in age restrictions for online pornography and blocking websites which refuse to comply.
However, Justice Minister Andrew Little was lukewarm on such a sweeping measure, saying only that he was open to ideas on different regulatory approaches.
Agencies who can help
Cyberbullying is covered under the Harmful Digital Communications Act (2015) - a piece of legislation recently in the news as National MP Sarah Dowie's texts to colleague Jami-Lee Ross came to authorities' attention.
If you want to make a complaint under the Act, start with Netsafe, the government agency that can advocate on your behalf with police, Facebook, Twitter and others.
If you're hit or hijacked by malware, contact CERT NZ, the government agency recently set up as a kind of triage unit for consumers or businesses suffering cyber-problems.