Banks Are Most Trusted With Personal Data

banking, blockchain

Only banks and building societies can take any encouragement from a survey of the British public’s trust

The British public trusts banks more than any other service or industry with their personal information, according to a survey released today.

A YouGov poll commissioned by Symantec has revealed 55 percent of UK adults rate banks and building societies as highly trustworthy, but the results are less encouraging for other sectors and services.

Among the most untrustworthy are online communities, online publishers and the online gaming industry.

Symantec’s UK Trust Index asked more than 2000 adults to score different sectors, including financial services, online retail, public sector, online communities, publishing and gaming from one to seven. Seven being trust completely, and 1 being not at all.

Who can you trust?

The survey's infographic

Financial services emerged as the only industry that the majority of respondents trust with their personal information, with 10 percent saying they “completely” trusted financial organisations with their information.

On average, nearly 60 percent of respondents gave online communities, online publishers and the online gaming industry a trust score of three or below.

In particular, the online gaming and publishing sectors have suffered some high profile casualties this year, with Sony’s Playstation network and The Sun website each losing intimate personal data in network breaches.

Social networking sites and forums are perceived to be particularly untrustworthy with more than a third feeling they cannot trust online communities with any of their personal information.

The public sector, which has had its fair share of data loss headlines is trusted by just less than half of respondents and online retailers will be disappointed that nearly a third gave them a trust score of three or less.

Image issues

“It’s clear businesses that handle personal information have an issue with consumer trust,” said Siân John, Security Strategist at Symantec. “The amount of information firms handle each day is growing at an astonishing rate, so organisations can’t afford to be seen as untrustworthy when dealing with the personal data relating to their customers.

“Gaining that confidence is down to having the right security credentials and making sure that no matter where data is stored or how it’s accessed, it’s demonstrably secure and the right policies are in place to ensure it’s not mishandled.”

The survey’s sample size was 2015. The most trusting people were males between 18 and 24 from the North West, Yorkshire was the most trusting region and the South West the least.

Consumer confidence in online organizations has taken a battering this year with a series of high profile data thefts and network breaches.

The Sony Playstation hack saw the details of 77 million people stolen and heralded the start of a busy summer for hacking groups Lulzsec and Anonymous.

And last week it became even harder to know who to trust online with the news that SSL certificates authority DigiNotar had been hacked and fraudulent certificates were circulating purporting to be issued by Google online.

This has prompted a raft of browsers to invalidate all DigiNotar certificates, with Apple the latest and last of the major players to do so.

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