Centrify survey reveals young people most likely to hear about security breaches from social media
Centrify, the leader in securing enterprise identities against cyberthreats, today released findings from its 2016 Consumer Trust research study that examined consumer attitudes toward hacking, including what information people most fear being hacked, how often people change their passwords and how aware they are when a hack does occur.
The online study reveals that people are most worried about credit cards or bank statements being hacked, with 85 per cent in the UK ranking it a top concern, well ahead of the US and Germany (78 per cent).
The study, which surveyed 2,400 people in the US, UK and Germany, also found that consumers are very concerned about financial investment information falling prey to hackers, with 56 per cent in the UK, 58 per cent in the US and 43 per cent in Germany citing it as a top concern. This is followed by health and medical records, with 45 per cent in the UK (46 per cent in the US and 48 per cent in Germany) saying they are most worried about this information being hacked.
By contrast, people are much less worried about family information falling into the hands of hackers, with less than half citing this as a top concern in all three countries – 41 per cent in the UK, 44 per cent in the US and 43 per cent in Germany. Hacks related to a person's criminal history, web browsing history and dating profile information are of the least concern.
The study also shows that when personal information is hacked, customers do not always hear about it directly from the targeted business that holds their data. At least half of respondents in each country who were victims of a hack said they heard about the hack via the news. Younger people are more likely to hear about hacks via social media.
Additionally, the survey reveals that, despite the growing media spotlight on high profile hacks, most consumers have poor password habits and do not take adequate precautions to protect their personal information. One-third of UK consumers change their passwords once a year, less or never!
Andy Heather, Vice President and Managing Director EMEA at Centrify, comments: "People can no longer afford to put their data at risk. To protect themselves and their personal information, they need to improve their password hygiene and follow simple precautionary steps, such as monitoring their online accounts and frequently changing their passwords. They should also look to organisations, including retailers and banks, to offer additional or next-level security such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) or biometrics as part of their own security processes and do business with them."
Over two-thirds of people in the UK do most or all of their banking online, and about one-third do most or all of their shopping online, according to the study, making them increasingly vulnerable to attacks. The good news is that many people are eager to improve their online habits. The study reveals that frequent password changes are more common among those who have had their personal information hacked in the past and those who tend to do more online shopping.
The survey also indicates that they are willing to invest time in going through security processes if it makes them safer. More than half of all Germans (52 per cent) expressed a willingness to spend at least 10 minutes on security measures, followed by 46 per cent in the US , but just 30 per cent in the UK.
Half or more selected a fingerprint ID as one of the top two security measures they would be comfortable using. The alphanumeric password (a combination of letters and numbers), the four-digit password and voice ID follow. The study reveals that people are much less comfortable with a graphic password, GPS locator and the ability to erase data remotely.