A Global Thing – Security Concerns

online security

By Jason Kelley
May 12, 2010

Category:
Potpourri

As you know we have a deep love affair with Harris reports. As many of us know, consumers are becoming ever more concerned about online security…not only for themselves, but for their family as well. As brands become more global we feel that understanding and addressing consumer security concerns, both domestic and abroad, is an important part of an overall communication strategy.

Consumers fear that their ISP and search engines are not able to keep their personal data and information secure from cybercriminals. Specifically, consumers are highly concerned about their online consumption being “tracked” and used by unscrupulous companies and people via their search activity. The chart below is the % of respondents who identified with the following question: How concerned are you about the amount and security of personal online data that can be accessed by a search engine?

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No one likes a Hacker
Consumers greatest concern is being hacked. Online users are deeply concerned..and some would say frightful..that their personal information can be easily found, and then used by a cybercrimals/hackers. Q: Are you concerned about a hacker getting access to your data?

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SocNets Cause Unease
Social sites such as Facebook and Twitter can make people vulnerable to cyber attacks. The question posed to respondents is: “Here are some issues regarding online security. Which one in each case applies to you personally?”

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Fears about the potential security weaknesses of online social networks may be justified, as cybercriminals are turning their attention to users of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, according to a new report from IT security and data protection firm Sophos.

Sophos’ “Security Threat Report: 2010” indicates criminals have increasingly focused attacks on social networking users in the past 12 months, with a dramatic rise in the use of spam and malware. Fifty-seven percent of social networking users reported being spammed in December 2009, a 70.6% jump from 33.4% reporting spam attacks in April 2009. Similarly, 36% reported social network-based malware attacks in December 2009, a 69.8% rise from 21.2% in April 2009.

One brand take-away: consumers need reassurance on a brand’s site that their information is secure and protected. This information will allow the consumer to develop a trusted relationship with the brand, feel safe in giving personal information, and provide a better user experience.