Data protection

A new study has revealed 69% of people in the UK are cautious about trusting businesses to keep their personal information confidential.

However, the study by Direct365, also found that 37% of people don’t shred their own personal documents when they have finished with them.

The research has also highlighted that half of 18 to 24-year-olds do no dispose of their bank statements and bills properly.

Recent studies by fraud prevention experts, Cifas, showed that young people are consistently being targeted by criminals, with a 52% rise in victims under the age of 30 between 2010 and 2015.

Phil Turner, head of digital at Direct365, said: “These figures show that most people are still worried about giving their sensitive information to companies.

“It’s down to businesses to demonstrate that they take data protection extremely seriously, and it’s vital that they reassure customers about their security policies and procedures.

“Perhaps the most worrying thing, however, is that so many people – particularly youngsters – don’t even safeguard themselves against potential data theft. Around half of the 18 to 24-year-olds that we spoke to freely admitted that they don’t shred documents like credit card statements and bills. This is asking for trouble.”

In light of the recent Brexit decision, there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding data protection legislation, as it’s unclear how the UK will fare if it is not obliged to adopt Europe’s General Data Protection Regulations.

The regulations are scheduled to take effect across EU states in May 2018, by which point the UK may have left the union.

Managing director of security company Identity Methods, Ian Collard said that the current Data Protection Act of 1998 was composed at a time before the widespread use of smartphones and apps that share personal information, including social media and online banking.

Mr. Collard said: “17 years ago less than 1% of Europeans used the internet. Today, vast amounts of personal data are transferred and exchanged across continents and around the globe in fractions of seconds.

“Suggesting that we adopt the old Act as our fall-back position is akin to using veteran car laws to control modern motorway traffic.”