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National Privacy Test: Australia and New Zealand rank fourth in the world

The National Privacy Test is a global survey that allows people worldwide to evaluate their cybersecurity and digital privacy awareness. The most recent results show that, while global cybersecurity awareness is declining, New Zealand and Australia participants know a lot about staying safe online, sharing fourth place with several other countries. Let’s uncover more.

National Privacy Test: Australia and New Zealand rank fourth in the world

About the National Privacy Test

The National Privacy Test is an international survey designed to help people everywhere find out how much they know about online security and privacy. The survey consists of 22 questions on various cybersecurity-related topics, such as daily digital habits, privacy awareness, and cybersecurity threats.

Thousands of participants from 175 countries worldwide have participated in the survey this year. We’ve analyzed the 25 markets with the most responses — and the results show some fascinating differences between the countries.

Each country has a National Privacy Test score based on how well its participants performed. Our data analysts have also categorized participants into four cyber personas based on the number of correct answers.

Before we dig deeper into the findings, let’s clarify how we calculate the National Privacy Test (NPT) score and determine cyber personas.

How we calculate NPT scores

The NPT score is calculated using the averages of the three other scores: daily digital life, privacy awareness, and digital risk tolerance. Because the test has 22 questions, each question has a value of 4.5%. The more questions a respondent answers correctly in each category, the higher their NPT score.

What are cyber personas?

Cyber personas are participant groups representing different levels of cybersecurity knowledge and skills based on their National Privacy Test scores. Here are the personas and the corresponding NPT scores:

  • Cyber Wanderer. Cyber Wanderers have the lowest NPT scores (1-24%) and don’t know enough about digital security and privacy to stay safe online.
  • Cyber Tourist. Cyber Tourists have average NPT scores (25-49%) and know more than Cyber Wanderers — but not enough.
  • Cyber Adventurer. Cyber Adventurers show a relatively good understanding and awareness of online security and privacy issues. Their NPT scores are between 50% and 74%.
  • Cyber Star. Cyber Stars are the top-performing participants with excellent cybersecurity awareness, knowledge, and skills. Their NPT scores are between 75% and 100%.

What do the test results show?

Both Australia and New Zealand performed well in the test, with the fourth-highest global National Privacy Test scores. They share fourth place with several other countries, including Canada. Let’s dig into the findings.

national privacy test results – new zealand

What are the key takeaways?

New Zealand, together with Poland and the U.S., has the third-highest privacy awareness score — while Australia knows more than others about ISP data collection. Here are the main insights:

  • The majority of Australian (95%) and New Zealand (92%) respondents know how to create strong passwords — a crucial step in protecting accounts from cybercriminals.
  • Both Kiwis and Aussies also know how to deal with suspicious streaming service offers. When asked what they’d do if they saw a streaming service subscription on eBay for less than its official price, 94% of Australian and 95% of New Zealand participants said they wouldn’t buy it because these accounts were probably acquired illegally.
  • Respondents from both countries understand it’s best to share as little as possible on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook (92% in Australia and 93% in New Zealand). Making information like your location or personal details visible to strangers poses many risks. You never know who might use this information for malicious purposes — whether it’s cyberbullying or identity theft.
  • Both Aussies and Kiwis are rightly cautious about saving their credit card information on their browsers. When asked whether they would save payment information after buying something online, the majority said they wouldn’t (90% in Australia and 89% in New Zealand).
  • Australia, along with Belgium, has the highest awareness of the types of data ISPs collect (14%). ISPs track users in many ways and can access a lot of information about you — from the files you download to your online searches. Knowing what information ISPs can collect is an important step in protecting your privacy.
  • Though respondents in both countries score highly on many questions, only 3% of Aussies and 2% of Kiwis know what online tools to use for digital privacy protection. Many tools can help enhance online privacy — and even make you safer online.
national privacy test results – australia

Cyber personas in Australia and New Zealand

Like in most countries, seven out of 10 respondents are Cyber Adventurers (69% in Australia and 72% in New Zealand). One percent of New Zealand participants are Cyber Wanderers, with only 0.3% belonging to this group in Australia.

What are the major changes since 2021?

In most countries, more participants consider reading terms of service important this year. However, in New Zealand, this metric increased significantly from 19% in 2021 to 34% in 2023. In Australia, 22% said it was important in 2021 vs. 30% in 2023.

Compared to 2021, more Aussies know what to do if their data is exposed due to a breach (46% in 2021 vs. 54% in 2023).

However, in New Zealand, fewer participants know that Facebook can collect data on people who don’t even use it (64% in 2021 vs. 54% in 2023).

An overview of global results

Overall, the study reveals that global privacy and cybersecurity awareness is declining. This year’s total score was 61 points out of 100 (compared to 64 last year).

According to Marijus Briedis, the CTO of NordVPN, this decline isn’t surprising, considering the increasing complexity of online threats and the growing number of cybersecurity solutions.

“I think there are a few reasons why cybersecurity knowledge is declining globally. The first and most important one might be the sheer volume of online activities and digital interactions that people engage in daily. Our previous research showed that people globally spend more than 27 years of their lifetime online. Secondly, as technology continues to advance, cybercriminals also adapt their tactics, making it challenging for the average user to keep up. Also, there is a common misconception that cybersecurity is solely the responsibility of service providers,“ says Briedis.

National privacy test results – Global

The survey shows that people perform best in questions about online risks and how to avoid them (73%) and worst in online tools and safety practices (52%).

Globally, people know how to create strong passwords, with 95% answering this question correctly. Most people also know what sensitive data to avoid sharing on social media (90%) — and about the risks of saving credit card details on their browser (88%).

However, globally, only a small percentage (3%) of people know about the tools that protect your digital privacy, and only 11% know what data ISPs collect as part of the metadata.

Similarly, not enough people understand the importance of reading the terms of service for apps and online services (31%). However, the good news is that this metric is increasing faster than others (only 21% of respondents paid attention to terms and conditions in 2021).

Looking at the cyber personas, only 1% of all participants are Cyber Wanderers with very little cybersecurity knowledge. Fifteen percent of all respondents globally are Cyber Stars.

Interestingly, people aged 30 to 54 have the highest scores and are most likely to be Cyber Stars. The results suggest that younger people and those aged over 54 need to brush up on their cybersecurity skills and improve their online privacy habits.

Globally, the top-performing countries for cybersecurity and privacy awareness are:

  • Poland and Singapore (NPT = 64)
  • Germany and the United States (NPT = 63)
  • The United Kingdom, Austria, and Portugal (NPT = 62)

View the National Privacy Test report for more global insights and country comparisons.

Want to take part in the National Privacy Test and see how many answers you can get right? Complete the survey on the official National Privacy Test website.


The National Privacy Test is an open-access survey anyone can complete. In 2023, the survey had 26,174 respondents from 175 countries. The National Privacy Test is not nationally representative (i.e., no quotas on age or gender were set). The report we’re referring to in the blog post uses data from the survey collected until 19 July 2023. Any differences between the report and the webpage results are due to participants taking the survey after 19 July.