Majority of UK say 'businesses not doing enough on security'

Over half of the UK population thinks that institutions such as banks and government departments are not doing enough to keep online personal information safe.

According to a report by VeriSign, 57 per cent of the UK population said that their data was not being kept safe enough.

The rest of Europe was generally more trusting, with less than half (44 per cent) of Germans mistrusting online businesses. This was followed by Sweden (31 per cent), France (21 per cent) and Denmark (20 per cent).

"I think it's in no small part down to consumer perception," said Jon Kerr, SSL manager of VeriSign. "Maybe businesses in Denmark [for example] have adopted security standards quicker than in other countries like the UK, so consumers get the message."

The research said that 80 per cent of Danish users shared personal information at least once a week followed by Sweden (77 per cent) and France (72 per cent). UK users were behind with only 65 per cent, showing that other European online users felt more comfortable logging into banking and other protected websites

"The data loss incidents from the Government haven't helped," said Kerr. "However it's more about business adoption, how to keep up with best practice and how to keep your website safe and secure."

Interestingly, UK users were split about whether it was the business' responsibility for protecting their online personal information. Around half of UK users felt it was the up to the business to keep their details safe. This contrasted with France, where 75 per cent of users felt security was up to the organisation.

"With increasing frequency, we are seeing more and more theft of consumers' personal information," said Danilo Labovic, VeriSign SSL manager.

"The study shows that online customers are becoming more aware of the risks involved in passing on their details over sites that may not be secure. It is the organisations themselves that will fail to benefit as they will lose out on an increasingly sceptical customer base who expect their online safety to be taken care of."

IT PRO recently reported about how UK users were risking billions on unsecured and poorly protected websites.