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Nearly 4.6 million UK consumers have fallen victim to cyber crime

Nearly 4.6 million UK consumers have had their personal details stolen and their bank accounts used to buy goods or services, according to new research.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Nearly 4.6 million UK consumers have fallen victim to cyber crime

A report by business advisory firm Deloitte also revealed that around two-thirds of consumers claimed to have received 'phishing' emails and one in three said they had been a victim of 'cybersquatting'.

The latest Deloitte Consumer Review found that less than half of those surveyed (44%) trusted companies to tell the truth about the quality of their data security procedures. Only 40% thought their data was safe when they shared it with a company - even one they trusted.

Chris Gaines, partner in Deloitte’s enterprise risk services practice, explained: "People are doing more and more online, and as consumers’ digital activities expand, so does their data footprint. 

"Consumer awareness of cyber crime is at an all-time high, fuelled by first-hand experience and media coverage of recent high profile security breaches, not to mention government regulation such as the EU ‘cookie law’ which requires organisations to tell web users how their cookies will be used."

The research found that nine out of 10 people said they had thought about the need to protect their activities and data online with 88% saying they thought it was the responsibility of the companies that collect their data to keep it secure and protect them from fraud. In addition, 75% of those surveyed said they wanted businesses to introduce more ID authentication processes on their websites, despite the extra effort this would mean for them.

While 66% of people said they were more likely to use companies that went out of their way to show customers they kept their information safe, 29% of people affected by security breaches said they had shifted their loyalty away from the company responsible for losing their data. 

Gaines concluded: "There is an opportunity for companies to gain a competitive advantage if they can show customers their information will be safe. Customers expect businesses to protect their personal information and are ready to shop elsewhere if these expectations are not met.

"Cyber attacks used to try to disrupt services or damage files, now customer data has also become a target. The information companies hold about their customers is one of their most valuable assets. In this new digital world, consumers will turn to trusted brands who they know will protect this data. Those that fail to act risk losing loyal customers."


 

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