2903.0.55.002 - How Australia Takes a Census, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/08/2006  First Issue
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August 8, 2006
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Protecting your online Census information begins at home

The Australian Statistician, Dennis Trewin said that while the eCensus itself was highly secure and not creating viruses, a report today in a national newspaper suggested that a limited number of PCs being used by the public may be infected by a virus or viruses. This is because of an existing problem with those PCs.

"Problems of securing home PCs is not new to Internet users," he said.

"It is a reality of the Internet world that when using online services such as Internet banking or eCensus, that PC users need to keep their anti-virus software current and be alert to risks.

"Information on how to secure your PC can be found on the Internet."

Information can be found at www.microsoft.com (and then clicking on the "Security" link) and at the AusCERT site at www.auscert.org.au and clicking on the "Protecting your computer from malicious code" link.

"It should also be noted the ABS is not promoting the eCensus via email. People wishing to complete their Census online should go to the eCensus web site by typing www.census.abs.gov.au in their browser's address bar, as instructed on the paper form delivered by Census Collectors," said Mr Trewin.

"If anyone receives an email which suggests they click on a link to access the eCensus, they should ignore it and contact the Census Technical Help Line on 1300 651 181 to report it.

"At the end of the day, if you have any doubts about the security of your PC you have the option to use the paper form."

The eCensus form is proving to be a popular method of completing the 2006 Census of Population and Housing survey with many Census forms already completed and lodged online.