Security / Inaction contradiction

In the blog Data Trust Gap I explored industry reports that customers see privacy as really important, and state it affects buying decisions, yet technology companies fall way short of being seen as trustworthy.

Subsequently, research from Intercede Trust in Security Low Among ‘Digital Natives’ shows a similar contradiction. It reports fewer than 5% of 16 to 35-year-olds have complete faith in the security of their online identities.

But from the same sample, under half (45%) say they only change passwords when forced to. The Info Security article goes on to note:

Recent research about mobile use abroad found that just 6% of the UK’s 18-24 year-olds had a security solution installed on their smartphone.

A Checkpoint survey from 2012, meanwhile, found that just 22% of ‘Generation Y’ respondents even had basic security solutions installed on their personal computers.

Young Person on smartphone

So in summary…

  • Customers see privacy as really important;
  • Customers do not feel safe using online services;
  • BUT do very little to try and make their online life safe.

This is the BIG issue that we need to somehow overcome. Until users change behavior, either by doing more to protect themselves, or by switching away from untrustworthy suppliers, the current status-quo will remain.

Security is an intangible investment for a business, and the absence of good security is hard to spot, so a hard investment decision for many businesses.

Other than regulatory requirements, the only thing that will change business attitudes is the fear of losing customers through poor security practice.