72% of UK Fear Personal Data Theft from Company Hacks

unhappy customer rating

New survey reveals the UK’s increasing distrust of organisations and web-based stores due to data theft and misuse.

A consumer survey by cyber security company BullGuard has shown that generally the UK public has little faith that companies are taking sufficient action to protect customer data.

Almost three-quarters of the nation fear that their personal details may be stolen every time they hand over their bank details and email addresses to companies. This distrust emerged in a study of 2,000 adults, which also revealed around one in five have already had their personal data stolen, of that figure one-third were left out of pocket as a result.

Recent highly publicised data hacks and IT mishaps that left customer data exposed are likely to have contributed significantly to this growing general mistrust. Equifax, TSB, Carphone Warehouse are just a few of the key culprits who have shaken the public’s trust in how originations handle data, and more importantly, how they deal with such incidents.

Furthermore, a staggering 80% believed that many hacked companies had covered up the incident rather than make it public knowledge. This belief is reinforced by the length of time it takes companies to make the public aware of such incidents and their reticence to divulge the extent of the breach.

Customers Suspect Cover-Ups

For example, Equifax was accused of obfuscating over the details of their 2017 hack, which has been labelled one of the largest data security lapses in history. According to the survey, one in five of those who had their personal data compromised, said they had to initiate contact the company to inform them.

The firms that did make contact on average took 11 days to do so. A third of respondents felt the company involved was unhelpful in dealing with the problem and 40% said the communication was unsympathetic or blunt.

85% of respondents said they thought companies put profits before the security of their customers. 48% said they felt businesses failed to do enough to protect customer data, while 45% thought companies do not consider cybersecurity a priority in the slightest.

Unsurprisingly, almost one fifth said they felt the Information Commissioner’s Office fines of up to £20 million were  insufficient to make companies take the appropriate measures to protect their data. 65% of those who had their data stolen because of a company hack continue to worry that their data could still be used maliciously.

Enterprise Data Planning in Financial Services event

Paul Lipman, CEO at BullGuard said:

“As the results show, the way companies use data really is a huge concern for customers. This has particular relevance in the wake of the Dixons Carphone hack in which millions of customer records have been compromised.”

“And clearly, these worries are justified because the number of people who are victims of identity fraud is worryingly high. While the emphasis should be on companies preventing fraud, realistically we as customers have to be vigilant and careful about who we give out our data to.”

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