Millions of Britons have quit social media, changed email provider or moved banks in the past 12 months due to concerns of data security, new research by Studio Graphene has found.
The London-based digital agency commissioned an independent survey among more than 2,000 UK adults.
It found that 12% of UK adults have been the victim of fraud in the past 12 months – that equates to 6.21 million people. A further 16% have had an online banking, social media, shopping or email account hacked.
Consequently, around one in six (16%) Britons has stopped using social media in the last year due to data security concerns. More than one in eight (12%) have changed service providers – including streaming services, utilities and banks – and 6% have moved to a new email provider for the same reason.
These trends were particularly common among those aged between 18 and 34. Of the millennials surveyed, 17% had been the victim of fraud, 25% had online accounts hacked, 20% had quit social media, 23% had switched service provider, and 11% had changed email provider.
Studio Graphene’s research also demonstrated how wary consumers have become of the technology they use and the data they share. Almost three quarters (73%) of UK adults said they are now conscious of the websites and apps they provide personal data to, while 70% are cautious of the particular devices or networks they use to share sensitive information.
Despite the survey finding millennials were the most exposed to issues of hacking, fraud and data loss, it also showed that they exercise the least caution. Only 58% of 18-34-year-olds are conscious of the websites and apps they share personal data on, and just 56% think about the networks or devices they are using when doing so.
Elsewhere, 24% of respondents said they avoid using ATMs or chip-and-pin machines in shops due to fears of credit and debit card fraud.
Ritam Gandhi, Founder and Director of Studio Graphene, said: “Technology is now woven into the fabric of our everyday lives, but there are inherent risks that come with our reliance on digital devices and services. Today’s research illustrates just how many consumers have fallen victim to online fraud or hacking and, more importantly, it shows that this is now influencing people’s decisions around how they spend money and who they spend it with.”