Study: Consumers Don’t Trust Businesses With Their Data

According to a recent survey, 69 percent of American consumers think having their data stolen is inevitable.

Online security is one of those issues that feels like it will never truly be resolved. As hackers get more sophisticated, so must security systems and methodology. As new hurdles to secure systems arise, is it the case that our systems are getting more vulnerable? A study from Wakefield Research, commissioned by Citrix, indicates that Americans certainly think they are.

Initial responses were pretty dire: 69 percent of Americans surveyed agreed that their personal data would inevitably be stolen, and 84 percent believed their data is even less secure this year than it was last year.

While hackers are becoming more sophisticated, personal security hygiene is still a serious problem. 70 percent of survey participants have no security software installed on their smartphone or tablet, 62 percent have not strengthened their WiFi passwords, and 51 percent have not started changing their passwords regularly.

This reluctance to change persists despite increased fears and mounting evidence that users must take more action in the face of data breaches. In fact, 61 percent of Americans have no plans in place in the event of a breach of their personal data.

Basic practices could include changing passwords, monitoring credit card transactions carefully, or even deleting social media accounts. For more tips, visit PrivacyRights.org.

Consumers aren’t improving their security practices, but they don’t believe that companies are taking security threats seriously either. 88 percent of those surveyed believe companies overstate the security of the customer data they hold, and 34 percent believe companies dedicate more resources to social media strategy than to security.

Personal security, corporate security, and online security, could all use some major improvements. However, it’s not simply a matter of providing better tools, or changing your passwords more frequently. All aspects of security must be considered by all users if we are to present a united front against data breaches.

Users and system designers need to adopt an operational security mindset if we hope to avoid and deal with data breaches more effectively.

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