'Corporate carelessness' driving fear of ID fraud

Many people now see corporate carelessness as a bigger threat to their personal information loss than hackers and cyber-criminals, a survey by insurer RSA claims.

According to its research, 90 per cent of people polled think important personal information held by companies such as banks, retailers, and online auction sites, is ‘not completely secure’; and 46 per cent of the sample believe their banks and retailers ‘do not do enough to protect their personal details’.

The survey also revealed that respondents believe that actions by company employees pose the greatest threat to their personal information. The chief concern was carelessness by company employees when disposing of confidential information, followed by a fear of fraud being committed by members of staff. Third, in order of concern, was weak management leading to insufficient checks on the actions of staff.

The findings also revealed that people are becoming increasingly worried about the security of their personal information and the threat of identity fraud; 56 per cent say they are more concerned about this than they were six months ago.
“ Even seemingly ‘small’ breaches in customer confidentiality can lead to widespread concern – and can have a massive impact on the company’s reputation, and on the reputation of their industry as a whole,” says RSA director of retail Desmond Cross. “Particularly concerning is employees exposing customer sensitive data in public.”

With an increase in flexible, remote and mobile working and extended working hours, the line traditionally drawn between the office, home and public spaces is becoming increasingly blurred, Cross adds: “Technological advances in the last decade mean that the sheer amount of information people can carry around has increased exponentially.”

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