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New Zealand gamers surveyed have lost more than $700 on average to cyberattacks

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – November 16, 2021 – NortonLifeLock (NASDAQ: NLOK), a global leader in consumer Cyber Safety, today published the findings of a global study that sheds light on the cyber risks impacting the gaming community.

The 2021 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report: Special Release – Gaming & Cybercrime, conducted online by The Harris Poll among more than 500 New Zealand adults who currently play online games, found that more than 2 in 5 New Zealand gamers surveyed (42%) have experienced a cyberattack to their gaming account or device. Of those, 2 in 3 (67%) report that they were financially impacted as a result. These gamers have lost NZ$7231 on average as a result of the attacks to their gaming devices or accounts. US gamers surveyed lost on average NZ$10422, and in third was Germany gamers surveyed at NZ$7122.

“New Zealand is a small affluent nation, making it a prime target for cybercriminals. The financial losses of gamers should serve as a wake-up call to gamers to start improving their digital hygiene,” said Mark Gorrie, Senior Director – APAC, NortonLifeLock.

The study also uncovered surprising findings about gamer-to-gamer cyber risks and the great lengths gamers are willing to go to win. Nearly one in five (18%) Kiwi gamers involved in the research admit they would consider hacking into the gaming account of a friend, family member or romantic partner if they knew it would give them a competitive advantage in an online game. 

“These findings are jarring, but there are some gamers out there that will do whatever it takes to win,” said BigCheeseKIT, gamer and Twitch streamer. “I’ve learned that when you’re gaming online, it’s so important to be mindful of who you are friends with online and what information you share when gaming online. While this is especially true for professional gamers who have that public profile, it’s clear this goes for any online gamer.”

The competitive drive appears to extend across all types of gamers surveyed in New Zealand, including those who just consider themselves casual players. If they knew it would secure a competitive advantage, more than a third of Kiwi gamers surveyed (35%) admit they would consider exploiting a loophole or bug in a game, and around 1 in 5 admit they would consider installing cheats to their gaming account or devices (23%), pay to take possession of another user’s gaming account (19%), or hack into the gaming account of a random player (17%).

“It shouldn’t be a surprise that people will use the tools at their disposal to win a competition, gamers are no different. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are hyper-aware of the market for exploits and are using them to scam those seeking advantage in the usual ways. They use dodgy links and hide malware in downloads that are advertised as rare items, in-game currency, or exploits to provide a competitive edge. Clicking a malicious link can lead to losing controls of your data, passwords, accounts and financial details,” says Gorrie.

“It’s a double whammy, cybercriminals will charge you for a fake cheat and then steal your financial information or log ins. In their own words, Kiwi gamers need to ‘get good’ – and avoid these dangers as well as have strong online security software to help stop breaches from occurring.”

Additional findings from the study include:

Struggles with security basics. Many gamers in New Zealand surveyed admit to a number of risky online gaming habits, like using the same password for more than one gaming account or device (52%), using public Wi-Fi to play games online (39%), sharing personal information (including names and birthdays) while playing a game online (35%), or downloading a cheaper or free version of a game from a website not associated with the game distributer (30%).
Doxing isn’t uncommon. Among Kiwi gamers surveyed who have experienced a gaming device or account cyberattack, nearly one in five have been doxed (19%), or had their personal information stolen and shared publicly online
Gaming over everything. The majority of gamers in New Zealand surveyed say they would rather spend time gaming than going on a date (72%), attending a sporting event or concert (67%), or attending a friend or family member’s birthday party (54%). Two in five (41%) would rather spend time gaming than go on a vacation.

For gamers looking to take proactive steps to help safeguard their accounts and devices from threats, Norton 360 for Gamers offers advanced protection features specifically designed to address gamers’ unique security needs, without interfering with gameplay. Dark Web Monitoring scans for gamers’ gamer tags, usernames and other personal information on the dark web, and with Game Optimizer, gamers can maximise game performance for a more immersive gameplay experience. For more information, please visit

[1] Averages cited have been trimmed to remove outliers
2 Based on conversation rates at time of release


In partnership with The Harris Poll, the report surveyed over 5,300 adults ages 18+ across 8 countries2, including 505 New Zealand adults, to explore the Cyber Safety risks gamers face and their online security attitudes and behaviors. To view the study’s full results and accompanying visual assets, please visit the press kit at:

About the 2021 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report: Special Release – Gaming & Cybercrime

The research was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of NortonLifeLock among 5,327 adults aged 18+ who currently play online games that require them to create an account and provide personal information (referred to in this report as “gamers”). The survey was conducted August 24 through September 14, 2021 in Australia (n=704), France (n=701), Germany (n=701), India (n=703), Japan (n=606), New Zealand (n=505), the United Kingdom (n=705), and the United States (n=702). Data are weighted where necessary by age, gender, race/ethnicity, region, education, marital status, household size, and household income to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About NortonLifeLock Inc.

NortonLifeLock Inc. (NASDAQ: NLOK) is a global leader in consumer Cyber Safety, protecting and empowering people to live their digital lives safely. We are the consumer’s trusted ally in an increasingly complex and connected world. Learn more about how we’re transforming Cyber Safety at