One in four UK consumers do not trust any company to secure personal details online
The survey of 1,000 consumers by information security company Integralis also found that only 24% of respondents trusted supermarkets to hold their data securely and only third thought that online retailers would maintain the security of their details.
While nearly two-thirds of those surveyed trusted their bank the most when doing financial transactions online, only 22% had faith in online payment systems like PayPal above other options. Fewer than one in 10 trusted a credit card provider the most.
Despite the popularity of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube 68% of survey respondents admitted they did not trust any social network to hold their information securely. Social networks topped the list of ‘least trusted organisations at 32% followed by online gaming sites and loan companies.
Facebook was the most trusted site followed by YouTube, Twitter and Google+. Despite the security fears, 37% of social network users said they did not know how to change privacy settings for all of the sites they use.
Consumers’ lack of trust was also shown to extend to mobile devices, with nearly half of survey respondents saying that smartphones and tablets were less secure than PCs and laptops. However, 53% of smartphone users admitted that they did not regularly update the security settings on their mobile phone.
Despite fears about online security and privacy, most respondents seemed happy to rely on traditional methods like passwords as the best way to stay safe online. Over half believed that having one strong password was the best way to protect their privacy online, above other more secure technologies, like secure ID tokens, SSL padlocked entry to personal information, data intrusion software, encryption and even a combination of security options.
Mick Ebsworth, Information Security Consulting Practice Director at Integralis, said: "While UK consumers love going online to do their banking, shopping and social networking, there’s an intrinsic lack of trust in the sites they’re using. Although many banks and retailers are putting in place more robust security and privacy systems to encourage more of us to go online, it’s right to be cautious about where your personal information is and how it’s being used."
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