A new survey of more than 2,000 UK adults, commissioned by Studio Graphene, has revealed the number of people who have fallen victim to fraud and hacking in the past year, as well as the level of caution they exercise when sharing personal data. The research found:
- 12% of UK adults have been the victim of fraud in the past 12 months, while 16% say they have had an online banking, social media, shopping or email account hacked.
- Consequently, one in six (16%) Britons has stopped using social media in the last year due to data security concerns. Some 12% have changed service providers (including streaming services, utilities and banks) and 6% have moved to a new email provider for the same reason.
- Three-quarters (73%) of respondents said they are now conscious of the websites and apps they provide personal data to. Some 70% are cautious of the particular devices or networks they use to share sensitive information.
- 24% of UK adults avoid using ATMs or chip-and-pin machines in shops due to fears of fraud.
The quitting of social media was particularly common among those aged between 18 and 34. Of the millennials surveyed, 17% had been the victim of fraud, 25% had online accounts hacked, 20% had quit social media, 23% had switched service provider, and 11% had changed email provider.
Despite the survey finding millennials were the most exposed to issues of hacking, fraud and data loss, it also showed that they exercise the least caution. Only 58% of 18-34-year-olds are conscious of the websites and apps they share personal data on, and just 56% think about the networks or devices they are using when doing so.
Ritam Gandhi, founder and director of Studio Graphene, said: “Technology is now woven into the fabric of our everyday lives, but there are inherent risks that come with our reliance on digital devices and services. Today’s research illustrates just how many consumers have fallen victim to online fraud or hacking and, more importantly, it shows that this is now influencing people’s decisions around how they spend money and who they spend it with.
“From banks and retailers through to pharmacies and streaming services, if companies fail to protect customers’ personal data then they are likely to lose those customers to competitors who have more robust and diligent security structures in place. Businesses must take heed of this warning by ensuring they are doing all they can to build and maintain trust with their customers.”