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Almost half of UK millennials refuse to give up personal data to businesses over security concerns

Almost half of UK millennials refuse to give up personal data to businesses over security concerns

Almost half of UK millennials refuse to hand over their personal data to businesses as they don’t trust them to keep their data safe. But while some individuals are taking actions to keep their data safe, others are opening themselves up to security risks with over 30% admitting that they share their Netflix, Amazon Prime or other entertainment account logins.

These are the findings of a new survey from Radware which sought to understand how UK millennials view cybersecurity, how they would react if their data was compromised and what it means for businesses today

Millennials understand the value of their personal data. Forty-five percent of those surveyed said that they never share it with companies as they did not trust them. Fourteen percent said that they share personal data only with trusted brands, while only 11% said that they share personal data all the time, and 6% said they that use false information.

The research shows the need for businesses to invest in strong cybersecurity if they want to increase their brand value and achieve differentiation in their markets. Companies that do not take customer data into account are in danger of being left behind by millennials. However, some millennials are also inadvertently taking huge security risks by sharing their entertainment account login details with friends. Only 69% said that they keep their entertainment account login details private.

With as many as 80% of consumers reusing the same password across their online accounts, many millennials may inadvertently be sharing their online banking password at the same time as sharing their entertainment account login.

Millennials are willing to look outside of the box to ensure that their data has not been stolen, and they are often finding out that their data was stolen from sources other than the company they trusted to look after it. Almost 15% said they searched the dark web to find their data, while 13% used data breach search websites like However, 30% said they only found out their data had been stolen when unusual bills began to turn up.

Consumers are becoming more aware of the value of their data, and any business that doesn’t treat that data with care is risking their customers’ loyalty. But in the event of a breach, consumers must be convinced that action is being taken and they are not finding out for themselves before the damage has been addressed. After all, in addition to new penalties under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), consumers can retaliate directly with legal action of their own.

Despite the increasing awareness of data security issues, there is little appetite among millennials to consider a career in cybersecurity, potentially opening up a huge skills gap in the sector.

Almost three-fourths of respondents said that they were uninterested, and only 5% said that they are studying towards a career in cybersecurity, to join the 2% already involved.

Despite this, 21% believe that the best way to improve data safety in general is to increase training in staying safe online at school. But only 13% said that getting more school-leavers into cybersecurity should be prioritised. On the other hand, 18% said that fines for companies that suffer breaches would be the best way to improve data security standards.

Millennials are known for surfing the top of the social media wave, but many reported negative experiences that have caused them to rethink the way in which they interact with social platforms.

Almost a quarter of millennials surveyed said that something that they posted had spoiled a friendship or relationship, while almost 20% said that their social media had stopped them from getting a job. Public posts also had an effect on education opportunities, with 7% revealing that something they posted stopped them from getting into a college or university. With these potentially life-changing opportunities at stake, it’s perhaps unsurprising that many millennials reported a shift in the way they interact with social media — although only 14% said that they had left social media entirely.

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