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Identity fraud avoidance guide

Symantec : 10 October, 2008  (Technical Article)
Symantec launches the "Don't put your ID at risk" guide detailing consumer information into online safety
In response to the launch of its online consumer and corporate risky business report on Wednesday 24 September, Symantec, the world's leading online consumer company has produced a convenient pocket-sized downloadable guide to educate the public on the key online risks to their personal information, and how best to avoid them.

The research, conducted amongst 1,000 UK consumers and 600 UK businesses explored the relationship between consumer and business perceptions of the online data risks that the UK population take when spending time online. The following highlight findings were released as part of the research launch:

Changes in consumer behaviour:.

* 84% of consumers agree or strongly agree that the credit crunch has made them shop around for better deals.
* 75% of consumers are more likely to shop online for items now than they were 6 months ago.
* 18% of consumers do not check the security of websites they use, but when they do, the following identification methods are used: (Friends recommendation - 11%, Check for the padlock - 66%, Make sure it is a trusted brand - 27% and Use security software - 30%)

75% of consumers are concerned by how much data companies (online and offline) hold about them, and only 21% believe that their data is secure in the hands of those companies.
The majority of consumers (89%), believe that reckless or repeated data breaches should be a criminal matter and punishable by imprisonment.
50% of consumers believe that the Government is the least trustworthy organisation when it comes to data, followed by telecommunications companies (32%).
Large companies are also perceived as the least trustworthy with 57% of consumers voting them most likely to lose data.
93% of consumers would not provide personal details to a company which had past problems of losing data and 80% believe it should be a 'one strike and you are out' rule when it comes to data loss, they would not trust a company again after it happened once.

In addition to exploring the perceptions of both the general public and the businesses which store consumer data, the research also looked into how likely consumers were to part with their information in a real life on-street data capture experiment. Taking place in Covent Garden, London on Monday 22 September 2008, a team of independent researchers approached over 200 members of the general public and tried to extract confidential password information from them in exchange for a £5 Marks and Spencers voucher.

Commenting on the launch of Symantec's "Don't Put Your ID At Risk" Guide, John Brigden, Senior Vice President, Symantec EMEA said: "In response to our research amongst the UK public and businesses which deal with sensitive consumer data, we felt that there was a definite opportunity to help further educate people about how to best protect themselves and their personal information when spending time online. To this end, our comprehensive consumer information online safety guide written by a team of Symantec experts will not only raise awareness of key issues involved but also explains things in plain English. It also has some easy to remember tips to help people avoid becoming a victim of online identify fraud."

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