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Social media sites not trusted with personal data

13 Sep 2011 12:07 BST Back
Social media sites not trusted with personal data
DMA News

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Consumers do not trust social networking sites with their personal data, according to a survey by Symantec.

More than a third of consumers (38%) surveyed felt that they couldn’t trust online communities such as social networking sites and forums with their personal data at all. 

The most trusted sector was financial services, with more than half (55%) of respondents saying they trust banks and building societies to keep their personal data safe. 

More than 2,000 UK adults took part in the survey, which was carried out by YouGov and commissioned by Symantec. Respondents were asked to give sectors a trust score of one to seven (one being ‘don’t trust at all’ and seven ‘trust completely’).

On average, nearly 60% of respondents gave social networking sites, online publishers and the online gaming industry a trust score of three or below. 

Siân John, security strategist at Symantec says: It’s clear that social networking sites, the gaming industry and the publishing community aren’t doing enough to assure the public that their personal information is safe and secure. 

“As these industries increasingly become more monetised, they will be handling more sensitive data. It’s therefore vital that they avoid being left red-faced as a result of serious data breaches. Having strong data protection that’s clearly communicated will give consumers peace of mind and will help to improve an industry’s trust score.”

Somewhat surprisingly, online retailers scored low on the trust index, with nearly a third (32%) of respondents giving them a trust score of three or less.  

Siân says: “Protecting the integrity of confidential information is of course vital, but making it clear to the public that their information is safe is crucial as well. Security conscious online retailers need to differentiate themselves from bogus sites and the public are increasingly looking for visible signs that a retailer is proactive about security. 

“Trust seals show that an organisation is what it says it is and has passed a rigorous malware scan enabling a boost in customer confidence for businesses investing in these and displaying them clearly throughout the site.”

Posted by

Nicola Carpenter

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