One-in-four have been victims of identity theft

Identity theft has ranked as the top concern amongst consumers questioned about their digital lifestyles, according to Centrify. The survey of 1,000 UK consumers, reveals that 81% of respondents cited that they were concerned, or very concerned about the prospect of having their identity stolen.

Having credit card information stolen online is also extremely worrying, with 79% ranking it the second biggest concern above being a victim of cybercrime (73%). Surprisingly, cyber bullying was the least concerning, with just 40% of consumers showing any real concern, whilst privacy of social networks (59%) and email spam (68%) ranked much higher.

The survey also reveals the numbers that have a high, medium, or low “digital footprint’ based on the amount of time they spend online in a typical week, emailing, texting and sharing or watching digital images, songs, games, videos and apps.

62% of those very concerned about identity theft have a medium digital footprint, 46% low, and 26% have a high digital footprint. Equally only 26% of those with a high digital footprint were concerned about having credit card information stolen off of an online shopping website, and their email accounts being spammed, showing that those that spend more time online are less concerned about their identity being stolen.

One in four have definitely, or probably, been a victim of identity theft, 43% of which suggested it took more than one month to fix, and one in five saying it took more than 10 hours. 47% admitted to having to spend their own money to resolve the issue, with 28% noting they have spent at least 60 pounds (GBP), highlighting the need for increased password security.

Tom Kemp, CEO for Centrify, comments: “According to our survey, online purchases were the top reason that users thought they became victims of identity theft, underscoring the importance of confidence in one’s own online security. Consumers have very little faith in the absolute security of their passwords, as just 15% believe those passwords are very secure, regardless of the amount and type of characters used. Being able to manage our password security is crucial.”

Other research highlights:

  • Online purchases were the top reason that users thought they became victims of identity theft, underscoring the importance of confidence in one’s own online security.
  • The groups that are most likely to say they have been victims of identity theft are those that probably best understand and notice the signs of identity theft: IT workers, online shoppers, higher-salary workers, the tech-savvy, and those with a high digital footprint.
  • Those with the least confidence that their passwords are absolutely secure include, those that do less online shopping (12%), those aged 50-64 (11%), and those with a medium digital footprint (11%).
  • A plurality of consumers are only somewhat confident that their passwords for personal accounts could not be cracked by a computer program, but few are very confident.