03 Oct 2012

BRITS AT RISK OF ID THEFT AS LAID - BACK ATTITUDES LEAVE US 'LOGGED IN'

BRITS AT RISK OF ID THEFT AS LAID-BACK ATTITUDES LEAVE US 'LOGGED IN'

Equifax survey shows nearly half don’t clear browser history on mobiles –
and a third don’t log out of smartphone apps

www.equifax.co.uk

London, 3rd October 2012 – UK consumers are the most likely in Europe to become victims of ID fraud* and new research from ID fraud expert Equifax has revealed one of the key ways that Brits are putting themselves at risk. A third of respondents to Equifax research** conducted at the end of September 2012, said that they stay ‘logged in’ to smartphone apps and almost half fail to clear their browser history (42%). Both activities could make personal information, including bank details, easy to access if these devices are lost or stolen.

As part of National Identity Fraud Prevention month which started on Monday 1st October, Equifax is campaigning to reduce the risk of fraud to consumers, urging a change in attitudes to protect personal information.

“Our research shows that people in the UK are making it far too easy for ID fraudsters, with many failing to log out of internet banking and 1 in 5 storing passwords, PINs or bank account or credit card details on their smartphones,” says Neil Munroe, External Affairs Director for Equifax and Chair of the Identity Fraud Communications Awareness Group (IFCAG). “A third of people we surveyed said they don’t log out of social media or internet banking websites on their mobile (32%). With over a quarter of people doing online banking through a mobile device, it’s shocking to discover that 45% don’t password protect their smartphone, leaving all that information available to anyone who can get their hands on it.”

Munroe adds, “More and more people are using smartphones for all aspects of their life and enjoy the convenience of shopping and banking on the go. But it seems that many users simply don’t realise just how much data they are holding – and how at risk their identity could be. There seems to be a real culture of ‘it couldn’t happen to me’. That’s why we’re keen to support this month’s ‘Don’t let it be you’ campaign.

“A stolen phone can provide all the passwords, email addresses, telephone numbers and personal information criminals need to open new accounts and wrack up huge debts in the victim’s name. Yet people are failing to clear their browser history and many don’t even log out of social network and online banking sites, leaving them wide open to fraudsters.

“We are urging consumers to protect their personal information, starting with their smartphone. A passcode on a mobile device is the first line of defence, but 45% of people are currently failing to even do that. Consumers need to think about the value of their personal information. Don’t make it easy for fraudsters, log out and take steps to protect themselves.”

An added level of protection for consumers is regular monitoring of their credit information – particularly as the European research* commissioned by Fellowes highlighted that, on average, it takes 7 months for UK consumers to learn that they have been victims of ID theft.

The Equifax Credit Report is accessible for 30 days free simply by logging onto www.equifax.co.uk. If customers do not cancel before the end of the 30 Day Free Trial, the service will continue at £8.99 per month, giving them unlimited online access to their credit information and weekly alerts on any changes to their credit file. It also includes an online dispute facility to help them correct any errors on their credit file simply and quickly.

The Equifax app is available free from the Apple iTunes Store on iPhone and iPad and from Google Play for Androids.

ENDS

*The research was commissioned by office specialist Fellowes and carried out by Dynamic Markets , between June –August 2012. For this report, qualitative research was carried out among 5,507 adult consumers 18+ across Europe.

** Equifax commissioned a survey of 3,000 UK consumers on their attitudes to ID protection on mobile devices, September 2012

For further press information please contact: Louise Fowler, Clare Watson, Cecile Stearn or Wendy Harrison at HSL on 020 8977 9132 / Fax: 020 8977 5200 or Email: louise@harrisonsadler.com

DATA ANALYSIS

GENDER FINDINGS

Use the passcode function to access smartphone
Female – 52%
Male – 57%

Store personal details on smartphone

Bank account, credit card, etc
Female – 4%
Male 13%

Passwords/PINs
Female – 11.5%
Male – 15%

Do Online Banking/Monitoring Credit Card Statements, etc on smartphone on a regular basis
Female – 28%
Male – 49%

Do NOT regularly clear browser from smartphone
Female – 43.5%
Male – 41%

Do NOT always log out of social networking or internet banking on smartphone
Female – 34%
Male – 30%


REGIONAL FINDINGS

Use the passcode function on smartphone

 
East Anglia
East Midlands
London
North East
North West
Northern Ireland
Scotland
South East
South West
Wales
West Midlands
Yorkshire and the Humber
Yes
48.75%
51.43%
63.30%
43.40%
56.72%
60%
53.77%
52%
50.96%
60.87%
61.54%
51.92%
No
51.25%
48.57%
36.70%
56.60%
43.28%
40%
46.23%
48%
49.04%
39.13%
38.46%

 

48.08%

Store personal details such as bank account or credit card statements on smartphone

 
East Anglia
East Midlands
London
North East
North West
Northern Ireland
Scotland
South East
South West
Wales
West Midlands
Yorkshire and the Humber
Bank account and/or credit card details
5%
5.71%
11.93%
5.66%
9.70%
13.33%
7.55%
7.20%
6.73%
4.35%
18.68%
6.73%
Passwords/PINs - even if listed under a secret name
10%
12.86%
15.60%
9.43%
11.19%
20%
12.26%
16%
16.35%
4.35%
12.09%

 

13.46%

Do Online Banking/Monitoring Credit Card Statements, etc on smartphone on a regular basis

 
East Anglia
East Midlands
London
North East
North West
Northern Ireland
Scotland
South East
South West
Wales
West Midlands
Yorkshire and the Humber
Online banking
22.50%
20%
21.10%
30.19%
29.85%
20%
23.58%
28.80%
27.88%
34.78%
30.77%
26.92%
Monitoring credit card statements
5%
10%
18.35%
11.32%
11.94%
10%
8.49%
15.20%
8.65%
15.22%
8.79%

 

15.38%

Do you regularly clear the browser on your smartphone?

 
East Anglia
East Midlands
London
North East
North West
Northern Ireland
Scotland
South East
South West
Wales
West Midlands
Yorkshire and the Humber
Yes
43.75%
44.29%
41.28%
50.94%
47.01%
46.67%
50%
36%
34.62%
41.30%
56.04%
46.15%
No
47.50%
38.57%
40.37%
43.40%
38.81%
36.67%
42.45%
51.20%
46.15%%
50%
32.97%

 

37.50%
I don't know how
8.75%
17.14%
18.35%
5.66%
14.18%
16.67%
7.55%
12.80%
19.23%
8.70%
10.99%
16.35%

Do you ensure you log out of your social networking or internet banking before closing down the internet page on your smartphone?

 
East Anglia
East Midlands
London
North East
North West
Northern Ireland
Scotland
South East
South West
Wales
West Midlands
Yorkshire and the Humber
Yes
46.25%
40%
41.28%
39.62%
41.04%
53.33%
50%
39.20%
34.62%
36.96%
47.25%
48.08%
No
25%
37.14%
29.36%
37.74%
31.34%
26.67%
24.53%
37.60%
36.54%
34.78%
34.07%

 

30.77%


About Equifax

Equifax is a global leader in consumer, commercial and workforce information solutions, providing businesses of all sizes and consumers with information they can trust. We organize and assimilate data on more than 500 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide, and use advanced analytics and proprietary technology to create and deliver customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 18 countries and is a member of Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500® Index. Its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. For more information, please visit www.equifax.com.