The danger of digital identity theft causes more worry for consumers than the war in Iraq, a survey released yesterday has found.
Identity theft is second only to the World Trade Center terrorist attacks in terms of its impact on consumer awareness of security issues, according to the study conducted by Opinion Research Corporation.
The study also found that, despite increasing awareness of online threats, more than 40 per cent of consumers have failed to implement even basic security protection.
The poll of more than 1,000 consumers, commissioned by vendor RSA Security, asked: "Which of the following has had the most impact on your awareness of security issues?"
Almost half of the survey's respondents - 46 per cent - listed the World Trade Center attacks as their primary security concern, while 22 per cent listed identity theft. The war in Iraq and global computer viruses received only 19 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively.
When asked which common security measures they had taken over the past six months, more than 40 per cent admitted they had not taken any action.
Of those who had implemented security measures, 39 per cent had installed antivirus software, 21 per cent had changed where they stored personal information and 19 per cent had reviewed the security policies of their internet service provider.
RSA Security vice president of worldwide marketing, John Worrall, said: "It's clear that identity theft is top-of-mind with consumers, and we believe that protecting against identity theft is everybody's responsibility.
"While consumers have a duty to act in a way that keeps their identities safe, it's up to organisations who hold that sensitive information to see it as a privilege and do everything they can to protect it."
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