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UK consumers in denial with online security
Written by staff reporter
Significant numbers of UK consumers are failing to take the most basic online precautions according to new research from DAS UK Group and HSB Engineering Insurance. Although 88% of consumers claim to be confident when dealing with cyber security, they appear to be in denial with regards to protecting themselves. Nearly a quarter are failing to take even basic – and well-known – precautions such as using anti-virus software (23%) or ‘strong’ passwords (24%).
This is supported by other alarming statistics such as 34% not using different passwords on online accounts, 41% delaying before installing system updates, and, perhaps most surprisingly, 51% fail to regularly back up their data.
Over half of consumers (54%) wouldn't know how to check a website is genuine, opening themselves up to fraud, or the 63% of consumers who did not know that banks are not required to refund money that is transferred to fraudsters.
In terms of cyber security concerns, 90% of consumers are concerned about at least one aspect of cyber security. In particular, three quarters (75%) are concerned about identify theft, loss of personal data, online fraud, and their devices being infected by virus or malware. Two thirds (66%) of consumers – mostly younger adults and heavy social media users – tend to be more concerned about losing personal data, files or photos.
With regards to data privacy and use of social media, 49% of surveyed consumers did not know that social media sites can retain various rights over content people post which also makes it hard to ever completely delete or remove your ‘digital footprint’.
James Henderson, Managing Director Insurance UK & Ireland, DAS UK Group, said: “Cyber security regularly hits the headlines, from malware attacks to the theft of personal and financial information. Our research has shown that whilst it seems that people are aware of the issue, they are still not taking the most basic precautions to protect themselves from this very real threat. As the activities of fraudsters become more diverse, online users must take every opportunity to safeguard their personal information from what are often sophisticated criminal activities.”