Friday, August 12, 2022
Uncategorized92% of customers have concerns about their data privacy

92% of customers have concerns about their data privacy

Collaborative Post

Each year, the experts at Norton publish a cybersecurity report based on a survey of 10,000 participants across ten countries. Their principal findings not only capture the current threats in the online world but also shape global digital security policies.

This article covers the key findings from the report. It also includes different steps that both personal and business users should take to protect their data.

1. Privacy is under attack

A third of consumers (equivalent to 350 million people) reported experiencing cybercrime in 2019. This number has pushed major fears over online security. Two-thirds admitted they’re more alarmed than ever about their privacy.

Users did report taking at least one step to safeguard their online activities better. These were basics, like clearing cookies or limiting information shared online. A lot fewer people took more advanced actions like using a VPN, password manager, or file encryption software.

Even with these steps, the majority of consumers (60%) feel it’s impossible to protect their privacy.

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

2. Governments are expected to protect privacy

Most people agree that individual users should be held least responsible for protecting privacy. Despite a lack of confidence, most users believe the government holds this responsibility. What’s surprising is that they think the government should be more responsible than the companies who collect their data.

With that said, the majority of people do agree that companies should do a better job protecting personal information. But they don’t trust companies to do so.

3. Cybercrime is on the rise

In one of the more startling conclusions, Norton noted that more than half of all users had experienced a cybercrime. Worse yet, one in three reported experiencing a crime in the previous 12 months.

The most common threats were malware on desktop, mobile, or WiFi networks. Not far behind was unauthorised access to email and social media accounts. 

4. Identity theft continues to be a major problem

Along with other forms of cyber-crime, identity theft continues to rise. Almost 46 million people were victims of identity theft in the previous year. The US had the highest number of incidents, with 12.2 million thefts, followed by Japan with 5 million.

5. People are getting more interested in privacy

It isn’t all bad news. 92% of people reported concerns over data privacy. And it has translated into real action. Since the previous survey, 84% of respondents took at least one step toward protecting online policy.

Two-thirds of people chose not to download an app or use a service based on a company’s privacy policy. Also, one-third of people decided not to buy smart home devices because of security concerns. Within this total, people didn’t buy the equipment because:

  • they didn’t trust manufacturers with their data

  • and/or they didn’t trust the ability of the device to withstand a cyber-attack

What steps should companies take?

The biggest takeaway from the report is that cybercrime is on the rise, and businesses and governments are doing very little to stop it. Most people distrust the way companies handle data in general and feel like they violate their privacy.

It’s time for businesses to take a more significant role in securing customer data. For one thing, companies must become more transparent about the data they do collect. They need to simplify privacy policies and be upfront about what information they gather, for what reason, and how they store it. Otherwise, more consumers will turn away in favour of competitors.

Companies also need to safeguard consumer data using file encryption services. They can use encryption software for business to encrypt all consumer files both in local storage and in the cloud. It helps to prevent cybercriminals from accessing confidential data.

Cyber-attacks cost small companies $200,000 on average. It forces many of them to shut down permanently. Encrypting files is the easiest and most effective way to prevent this from happening. And it’s not only businesses that can (and should) use encryption solutions.

But that’s not all. Businesses should encourage their employees and users to follow advanced cybersecurity practices. Deleting cookies or not sharing too much on social media is a good start. But they shouldn’t overlook tools like VPNs, 2FA, and privacy-enforcing browser extensions. And everyone should use these tools in combination with each other.

Don’t let your company become a victim of cyber-attack. Take note of these findings and start incorporating different security strategies. Not only will they protect your data, but also show your consumers how you take their concerns seriously. It’s the perfect win-win to maintain customer loyalty, grow trust, and prevent the harmful effects of cybercrime.

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